Yesterday I spoke at a funeral for one of our members. The deceased was also the sister to my wife's uncle. I did not know her well. I had seen a few times over the years and heard her spoken of fondly several times by family members. A few weeks ago I was asked by my wife's uncle to come visit his sister. She had an advanced stage of cancer and did not expect to live much longer. When I arrived I found her sitting in a chair in the living room. I made small talk for a few minutes. (I am the worst in the world at small talk so most people want me to just get to the point. I told her that I had been informed she had a question she would like to ask me. So I said "What would you like to know?" Then I got one of the strangest questions I have ever been asked. It was not the usual "Why has this happened to me?" Or even, "What happens when you die?" She looked at me very puzzled and said, "Why am I still here?"
That is a good question. Not only for those who have been told we will die sooner than later, but to those of us who choose to avoid even the though of the inevitable. Why are we still here? I thought for a moment and responded, "It is because you haven't finished yet." She thought for a moment and asked another question, "What haven't I finished?" I had to admit that I didn't know her well enough to even venture a guess. I just said that God has a purpose for us here and He will not take us home until it has been accomplished. Jesus is our example in dying just as we was in living. On many occasions people tried to kill Him but to no avail. The reason? He was not finished. When He finally hung on th cross and suffered for our sins He said with His dying breath, "It is finished!" I told the people gathered in the chapel at the funeral home that their loved one was finally finished. I don't know what it was that God had for her to do but He took her home when she was finished. She may have forgiven someone in her heart. She may have uttered a prayer for someone from long ago. She may have given one last smile or wink to a loved one. I don't know, but I do know her purpose had been completed. Now, what has God given you to do?