Light Notes: Let our legacy of beauty, goodness and truth be self-evident

Timothy J. Ledbetter, Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) on

Published in Religious News

“Lorna” was 102 years old when she died. A member of her church congregation from childhood, over the decades she had become one of their matriarchs in faith and ministry.

Lorna’s legacy of gentleness, kindness and grit was well known across several generations of family and church friends. She was quite short, but her stature was upright, solid and dependable.

As Lorna’s pastor back in the day, it was my responsibility and privilege to officiate her funeral.

I went through my usual planning with the family, church musicians and worship leaders to create a ceremony that would properly honor this lifelong woman of God, celebrate key aspects of her story and commit her into the eternal care and keeping of her beloved Maker, Savior and Sustainer.

All was in order and the funeral service was proceeding well ... until it came time for my funeral eulogy — the “good words” — that in this case could not possibly cover over 37,000 days of life and living. I was prepared with my written remarks before me (and so I could give a copy to the family, as was my custom).

However, I looked down at the pages, took a breath, looked up at the many mourners of this beloved woman’s death, and confessed, “Lorna’s eulogy is self-evident in her lived legacy, would you all agree?”


Everyone smiled and nodded.

I continued, “What could I possibly add that isn’t already known? I have memories written here, but there really isn’t anything more that needs to be said.” So I didn’t.

Self-evidence. When something speaks for itself. When the evidence is inherent.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” wrote the colonial authors in their Declaration of Independence from English rule.


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