Funerals have always puzzled me a bit. A lot of the traditions surrounding a person's death seem strange to me. I suppose it's good for us to have a time devoted to remembering a person who died, as well as a time to "pay our respects" to the family of "the deceased." (See? Funerals even have their own language.)
Yesterday, I ran across this quotation from Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century Congregationalist minister. No doubt he performed many funerals and delivered many eulogies in his day. Here's his advice:
Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving cheering words while their ears can hear them and while their hearts can be thrilled by them.
And it occurred to me that this is one of the things I love about blogging. Blogging seems to bring out such a sense of encouragement among people. If you've worked hard on a project, written something noteworthy, celebrated a special occasion, or reached a milestone, you can share that event with your readers--and they will "speak approving cheering words." Isn't that a wonderful thing? People will read your story and respond with encouragement. Oh, I know that there's the occasional mean-spirited or snarky comment, but for the most part we use the Comments section as a way to build one another up. And we do it right now, when it matters.
If you ask me, that's a good thing.
Encourage one another, and build each other up. . . (I Thessalonians 5:11).
What's the most encouraging comment you've ever received?