Eulogy Virtues in action!
“Sometimes it is hard to be brave”, is what I shared. I usually don’t like to talk about my anxiety or my loneliness; in part because there are so many on the planet who have stuff to really worry about or be sad about. I really try to leave it at the throne, leaning in to God’s mercy, but it would seem that one day at our valued “Modular family” prayer time I was overwhelmed with my inability to trust God with my finances, my kids, and my future and I shared it as a prayer need. Not only did I feel cared for and comforted and carried in that moment, but I was relieved as my need was gently prayed for and I felt my burden lift as others helped to carry the load with me.
One of the triggers for this fear was shortly after my mechanic told me that Jim’s 23 year old (the operative word), yet reliable Honda Accord, was ready to be retired since he was putting a lot of work and new parts on it. I knew that I was living on borrowed time with the car, but I was hoping to borrow a little more while I paid off wedding and college expenses. In addition to being mum about my needs, I really do not like to discuss money very much. I also do not feel I am owed anything. I have a decent education and opportunity to work and I feel that discussing a “lack” of money seems ridiculous when I have so much. Further, God has always met my needs and many of my wants. The other issue is that I really do not want anyone to have the view that my husband left this planet without a plan to care for his family. On the contrary, Jim was a good provider and money manager, and in spite of his frugality he was very generous with his resources. He even learned to give thoughtful gifts when that was definitely NOT his own love language.
But then what happened, I can only attribute to God and his favor. There is courage and strength in numbers; when Moses got weary in battle he others to hold his arms up. God’s Spirit laid it on the hearts of some of my coworkers and friends to be part of the answer to the prayer they were praying and 2 weeks after sharing my prayer need, we met again for prayer. This time, my kids walked in the room and I was given an envelope with money to help pay for a car. I am humbled and blessed to hear others share what I mean to them. And I would tell you that each one of my contributors/ supporters are working on their eulogy virtues….If you have not heard the TED talk by David Brooks, It’s a short talk – only 5 minutes (here is the link: TED Talk – virtues. ) In it Brooks describes the difference between resume virtues and eulogy virtues. Resume virtues are the external ones: the skills you bring to the marketplace, the ones you put on your resumé. Eulogy virtues go deeper, describing who you are in your depths, and what characterizes your relationships. They’re the traits that would be highlighted in your eulogy. While eulogy virtues are more important, they are often not the ones we prioritize nor does our culture usually value or endorse. Those who dug deep and gave, even sacrificially, are generous, big-hearted, thoughtful, kind and loving with integrity and hopefulness. They are Christlike. Faithful. Brave. Joyful.
I would love to figure out a creative way to express my gratitude, but most of what I come up with seems silly at best. So here I will start by saying:
- Thank you (not sent from my iPhone).
- Next time, I’m sending you a cape, even though Edna Mode would disapprove. Thanks for your superhero-sized gift.
- Two words: Endless gratitude.
- Your version of shine is a search light. Thanks for shining brightly in my life (Phil 2:14)
- Amazed. Inspired. Grateful. That’s how your generosity makes me feel.
- I’m beginning to think you’re serious about this whole Christlikeness thing!
And because the money is for my car:
- You’re a spark plug for good. Thanks for igniting something amazing.