Today, I went to a memorial service for a young lady whom I’ve never met, little knowing how much her life would impact me. The room was jam-packed with friends and family who flew from Canada, Oklahoma, Seattle and other parts of the country to celebrate her life. On short notice, I was notified by my aunt and uncle about this just a few days ago, so I went to support them in their time of grief. Tina Lin, 36, was struck by a car in the parking lot of Costco when an elderly driver stepped on the wrong pedal. She is survived by her husband of two years.
As loved ones stepped up to the podium to share about Tina’s life, the single-most common theme I picked up in their tributes was Tina’s love for God. She was an amazing young lady, exuberant with life, laughter, compassion, kindness, zeal, wisdom, courage and sense of humor – and above all that, everyone knew that she was a young woman devoted to her God. In the service program, the words of her favorite scripture were inscribed:
“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you.
“And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with reverence and fear.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
“Do everything without complaining and arguing so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in the world…
“Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
~ Philippians 2:12-16 (NLT)
It became clear to me that Tina had her priorities straight. The impact of her self-sacrificial dedication to serving God’s people and her daily walk with the Lord is palpable, even reaching beyond her large social network to people she didn’t know (like me, for example). We can never underestimate the importance of our lives; day by day, we are stitching our thoughts, words and actions into one large quilt – and that quilt is the message overflowing out of our hearts. Though Tina’s life was tragically cut short, her quilt was beautifully finished, sending forth the message of the importance of loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.