Anyone who knew my mom knew her favorite flowers were jonquils. When I was a child, I learned how to draw them so I could make beautiful pictures for her. Now where I live, my children and I walk down our road every year and pick wild jonquils at first bloom to bring to her.
In the final weeks of Mom’s life, I watched the jonquils outside her front door and in her back yard burst into full bloom. They were absolutely stunning.
But in her final days, I looked out the glass door and noticed the jonquils had faded. I asked myself, “Why would such beauty only last a short time?”
Then a thought occurred to me. A couple of weeks ago I went out to look at my blueberry bushes in bloom, and I saw two bees hard at work. How did they know when to come out of their winter sleep? How did they know it was time to get to work?
Perhaps, I thought, it was the jonquils. Perhaps, the purpose of jonquils wasn’t simply to look beautiful for a few weeks. Perhaps their true purpose was to awaken creation to emerge into spring. To point to life after a season of death. To beckon worker bees to begin the process of pollination, which eventually will produce an abundant harvest.
The song, Remember Me, by Mark Schultz, played during a slide show of photos at my mom’s funeral. I had let her listen to that song years ago and told her it always reminded me of her.
Remember me, by the Bible cracked and faded by the years.
Remember me, when the children leave their Sunday School with smiles.
Remember me, when they’re praying and tears of joy fall from their eyes.
Remember me, when they’re old enough to teach, old enough to preach…
But the truth is, my mom wouldn’t have ever said, “Remember me.” She never called attention to herself. Instead, like jonquils, she shone brightly, lived beautifully, and pointed to Jesus as the source of life after death. She awakened others to begin their work toward a fruitful harvest.
Whenever you see a Jonquil, remember my mom.
But do more than remember her. Let it remind you — as my mom would — that there is life after death through the One who was present during Creation itself — Jesus Christ.
Let it remind you to work — for the Lord, for the kingdom, for each other.
That way, when you meet Jesus, as Mom has, you can see all the fruit your work on earth produced, simply by pointing people to life.
What I’ve written above is what I shared at my mom’s funeral. She entered Heaven after a long battle with cancer on March 24, 2016. My mom was a one-of-a-kind lady, and my hope is that each spring those of us who were privileged to know and love her will be reminded of the kind of life she lived and will be inspired to live our lives to glorify God like she did.