A couple of years ago I was at a friend’s house having a relaxing morning and I looked on the desk only to find a picture of the crucifix. It was a small card actually about the size of a 2×3 picture and there hanging on the cross was Jesus (or at least someone’s rendering of Jesus) affixed to the cross. On the back of the card it said “In Memory of Frank Brzozowski” with the Lord’s prayer on it. I had never heard of Frank and nor did I have any idea why this card was on my friends desk, but it got me to thinking…what would be on my card? It also made me think about how small we are in so many ways…a life reduced to a 2×3 card with a picture and a prayer, in 300 years perhaps this man will no longer be remembered at all.
I think about this often with the decisions I make in my life. I question what am I will leave behind when I pass from this life into the next of realm. In some ways that question haunts me, in other ways it excites me. Perhaps having a picture of the crucified Christ is the best possible image to capture the life of a person, but oddly it isn’t what I would want. Not because I am opposed to being associated with Christ, for if you know me at all you would know that would be a deep and abiding honor for me. I wouldn’t want that image, however, because we get stuck on that part of the story and we forget to focus on the ascension, the part where new life begins and the glory of God and casts out the darkness. I would want my card to reflect that part of the story, the part where “life is good” and the onlooker is invited into joy. The particular depcition of Christ on that card had his head hung down, low and surrendered. But that isn’t the end of the story.
If I am honest, I would admit that I want to be remberered for something great, something world changing. Maybe it will be a book, maybe an organization I start, or an incredible theological dissertation that significantly impacts the theology of this century. I want to do something really big and meaningful. But regardless of whether that materializes or not, I definitely want my card to have the end of Jesus’ story reflected on it. When I exit this life, I want those who celebrate me to remember that I lived a life confident that the resurrection is the ultimate truth…God invites us into new life, and it is up to us to follow Jesus from the cross to Heaven!