“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ ” (Matthew 25:34–40, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.” (From the eulogy for Robert Kennedy, delivered by his brother Edward Kennedy).
I think most of us would like to be remembered as “good and decent.” Someone who, when we witnessed wrong “tried to right it,” or “suffering and tried to heal it,” or conflict and “tried to stop it.” Someone who questioned why things are the way they are, and not the way we dreamed they might be.
My Advice – But better than being remembered fondly by those we leave behind is to be greeted warmly by the one who welcomes us home. What kind of welcome would you like to receive? Live a life of service that is “worthy” of the welcome.