Something unusual happened today. So unusual, in fact, that it was my first such experience in more than two decades of self-employment. I received an email letting me know that one of my clients had died in a car accident.
Death itself is not unusual. What made this particular incident unusual were the circumstances surrounding it.
I had been writing for this client for years. Communications back and forth were regular and frequent. Then suddenly, everything stopped. I heard nothing from him beginning in early November. That’s because he died on November 3.
Not knowing what had happened, I visited a number of his online properties to see if I could ascertain the state of his business. The properties were all still intact. In fact, I suspect they are still producing revenue. Yet despite a mountain of evidence suggesting he was still alive, he’d already been dead for almost 3 months before I learned of his passing.
What I found in his online properties was not evidence of his death. It was evidence of his life. More importantly, it was evidence detailing how he lived — at least the business aspects. I could look at what he accomplished and know for certain he was a successful businessman. I’m sure his family has additional evidence relating to his role as husband, father, etc. All of the combined evidence tells the whole story of who this man was.
Mary the Worshiper
Mark 14 tells the story of Mary anointing Jesus with precious oil that would have fetched a considerable amount of money on the open market. Mary was criticized for doing so, but Jesus defended her. Check out what he said about the incident in verses 8-9:
“She has done what she could: she is come beforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wherever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she has done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”
This one particular act was evidence of who Mary was as a person. Now, we know a little bit more about her from other passages of Scripture. The combined evidence suggests that she was quite a woman. It suggests that she truly loved Jesus. We know from Mark 14 that she was a worshiper, too.
Judas the Traitor
By contrast, one of Mary’s critics in Mark 14 was Judas — the very same man who sold Jesus to the Sanhedrin for 30 pieces of silver. He also left behind evidence. Unfortunately, it was not very positive. In fact, it was downright abhorrent.
To the extent that Mary was a worshiper and lover of Jesus, Judas was a traitor and a hater. That’s quite a contrast. I suspect that most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes. We worship Jesus on some days and betray him on others. We look like lovers of God one day and haters the next.
All of this has me thinking about what evidence I am leaving behind. When I leave this life and pass on to glory, will the evidence point to a man who loved God? Will it demonstrate a life governed by morality, conviction, and holiness? I sure hope so.
The greatest evidence of my character won’t be the business I conducted. It won’t be the articles I wrote or the books I sold. It won’t be the house I lived in or car I drove. Rather, the most compelling evidence of my life will be the people whose lives I impacted. It will be the lives of my surviving family members — particularly my children and grandchildren.
That evidence will tell the whole story. I pray it’s a good one.