Today was an incredibly beautiful celebration of Sweeney's life. There were tears, of course. Mostly, though there were stories, laughter, and multiple lessons from the life Sweeney lived on this Earth.
One of the lessons I will carry with me from all of the various accounts shared is the incredible power of paying attention and showing up. Sweeney's life was characterized by life changing friendships. His 'flow chart' of lives that had been touched was dynamic. Everyone agreed, it was not because he had the remotest desire to be a headline maker or a world changer. Instead, he just loved on the people that crossed his path. In Young Life circles we refer to this as 'earning the right to be heard.' Today I heard a young man say that accepting Jesus' love for him was easy because Mike Sweeney had already lived it out in a way that made it exceedingly tangible and easier to comprehend.
My friend Cabell, Sweeney's widow, is a rock star. At the conclusion of the service she stood and delivered a powerful, moving account of her husband's love for her and the profound way God had used it to symbolize in some small way how He loved her. She did so with humor, grace, honesty and beauty. Theirs was a precious marriage. It left me wanting to be a much more humble wife.
I am challenged in a beautiful way to wake up tomorrow and live a life more fully committed to love--not in big Earth-shattering ways, but in seemingly small ways of showing up, serving and displaying authentic, life-changing love for the people God puts in my life.
In this day and age where most of the headline makers are people of scandal, it was refreshing to be reminded how much this world longs for salt and light. These lives were noteworthy because of their ability to reflect God's love in extraordinary ways--through humble, 'normal' lives. Thank you, God, for men who authentically live for you. Thank you for the reminder of the power of relationships and the great fruit that comes from simply listening and showing up.