Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The eternal, intentional and incidental

My father-in-law died unexpectedly about a month ago. It is true that he was 83 years young, and he did have some health issues, but the call was jarring, and his death a true loss. As I was thinking about him, so much came to mind, especially since I just got to spend time with him at Thanksgiving, and then about ten days before his heart attack. The day before his memorial I wrote down two words... intentional and incidental.
At his service I was unsure about speaking, but when it came time, I knew that I wanted to share some of what I had observed of this man over the past thirty years. I am a firm believer that some of the most important things I have learned from others have been incidental... that is, the person was not "trying" to teach me something important, but rather was being intentional in how they lived and what they believed in, and as they shared life with me, I was moved, challenged or transformed. This was my father-in-law's way of being. He was very intentional in his faith and his love for others, praying for them, taking action when appropriate, and coming along side in interest of the other. However it was not for show, or to have an agenda for another, and I believe that is why he was such a person of influence for the God he knew and loved.
So, I have added the word eternal to my list of descriptors, because I believe that what Earl lived out of most importance is eternal, and will speak of him and His God forever.

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