just like Jeanne

3 days after this past Christmas, my friend Jeanne was taken home to Heaven.  she had been battling breast cancer for 16 years.  she was 52 years young.  she was in and out of remission, in and out of treatment, yet always in love with Jesus!  truly, i've never seen anything like it.  the woman was IN LOVE with Jesus.  in every conversation, whether she was talking with a believer or an unbeliever, she made sure it turned in the direction of her savior.  she was fearless.  in every way.  she jumped out of planes, she skied with the US olympic ski team years ago...just for fun.  Jeanne was able to easily merge into any crowd.  she could mix in with the extremely wealthy...and get them to give abundantly to causes close to her heart...and she could just as easily mix with people in prison who she'd often go to visit.  Jesus was not only the focus of her conversations but of her life as well.   i've never met anyone who was so clearly, obviously, head-over-heels in love with Jesus!
do you ever just sit and watch couples that are engaged or newly married? if you're married, do you remember what it was like when you were dating/engaged?  while i was going through some things in our attic recently, i came across some letters that Brian and i wrote to each other during that time in our lives, over 20 years ago!  they are stacked neatly with red ribbon tying them together, so cute!  i pulled a few out and began to read them.  whoa!  i had completely forgotten how lovey-dovey we were!  how enamored we were with each other...how wholly and entirely in love we were.  not to say we aren't in love now!  quite the contrary...love grows stronger in a Godly marriage.  and then children change things, making love healthier, hopefully, and more solid.  and with time your love for each other strengthens and deepens...it grows up.  but i think it's vitally important that we don't lose sight of that initial phase of crush, desire, passion...true love...first love.
and does that not characterize our love-relationship with the Lord as well?  we start out strong, but time and life and distractions can mute or dampen our feelings if we let them. let us not be like the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2 that is accused of 'forsaking their first love'.  let's live in constant remembrance of what Jesus has done for us!!  what he is doing in us!! and what he wants to do through us!!
that is how Jeanne lived.  i was always inspired by her life, but now, even more so in her death.  one friend said..."Jeanne was like someone that was always covered with glitter.  and when she hugged you that glitter got all over you and you couldn't get it off!"  YES!!  may Jesus be that obvious in my life!  i want my love for him to be that infectious.  another friend said," i feel like Jeanne has passed us the baton and it's our turn to live for Jesus like she did."  YES!!  i want to run this race with endurance and perseverance, and throw aside the sin that so easily entangles and hinders me from doing so. (Heb 12:1).  i want to live a life characterized by my obvious, giddy, love for JESUS.  just like Jeanne.