The Secret of Significance

It was standing room only last night.

And that’s just the way her memorial service should have been.

Sue Garland was worth coming out to celebrate.

The only way someone touches that many people that deeply is when Jesus is the source. And He most certainly, clearly, deliberately was her source.

Jesus was worth coming out to celebrate.

Dozens of people were saved, hundreds recommitted their hands to service, and we all left hoping that out lives could be lived as significantly as Sue’s.

The beautiful irony of significance is not knowing we are until we’re gone. It’s a life that daily honors the indwelling habitation of Christ, and puts others before one’s self.

I honestly think that Sue thought she was just an ordinary person. But a butterfly never does see the back of its own wings.

To everyone else, she was extraordinary. ch:

UPDATE: 10:25am – I pasted my article for local media this morning:

Hundreds Gather to Honor Sue Garland

Monday, September 19th 2011 – Written by Christopher Hopper

WATERTOWN, NY – There was standing room only last night as people gathered at New Life Christian Church to pay their respects to one of Watertown’s own. The late Sue Garland (01.14.1957 – 09.14.2011) died of heart failure in her home Wednesday morning at 423 South Massey St.

“We had over 500 people show up to honor her life,” said Kirk Gilchrist, senior pastor. “She was a remarkable woman who touched a lot of people through her Christ-like care.”

Those same sentiments were echoed throughout the night as friends and family members paid tribute to her from the podium.

“Her first thought was only to serve others,” said Debbie Allen, Clayton, NY. “We saw Jesus when we were around her.”

Steve Menard of Athens, GA, flew in with his wife and children to honor his late sister. “We were always trying to one-up each other,” he said. “Constantly happy, it was impossible to keep Sue down about anything.”

In his stately tribute to her, husband Ralph Garland charged couples in the audience to a lifestyle of selfless love. “Cherish one another. Don’t wait long to say ‘I’m sorry.’ Tell one another you love each other, and surrender your whole life to Jesus.”

Attendees were lead in a rousing chorus of “I Can Only Imagine,” hands lifted high, the sanctuary ringing with praises to God. A slideshow spanning five decades of Garland’s life played out over the big screens, and Eliza Gilhuly of Depauville sang “Amazing Grace.”

In his closing remarks, Pastor Gilchrist challenged the congregation to model Garland’s lifestyle. “Honor her life by living yours the way she did: serving Jesus.”

Funeral arrangements were made by Colarco Funeral Home. Additionally, Garland is succeeded by her sons Shane and Jeremy Marolf. ch: