The sun shone down and warmed our faces and backs and we spoke in whispers, as folks often due at cemeteries. A group of men assigned to the task of pallbearers gathered together and made their way to the approaching hearse to attend to their responsibility. The blue casket was pulled from the vehicle and steadily carried to the tent where the group of talkers were now seated or standing under the tent for this last part of the funeral. The service had been the night before at the church. Today it was time for the committal.
I was honored to be seated with the family, though I didn’t really belong there. I was no blood relative to the man in the casket. I was simply his Pastor’s wife, but that role has given me the blessing of being close to him and his family – as we are with many in our church. The daughter graciously offered me seat on the front row under the funeral tent.
As I sat there watching the casket being carried along towards us, thoughts passed through my mind like the clouds that were now pushing through the sky above us. I recalled how I had had another front row seat – that of watching his life up close for nearly eighteen years.
I thought about how this man had lived. He…
- Loved the Lord
- Never wavered in the Truth
- Loved souls
- Kept a tender heart
- Learned to forgive
- Always thought the best of others
- Was generous with anything he owned
- Was committed to his wife for 72+ years
- Loved his church
- Was faithful to his local church services…even when struggled to get there
- Loved young people
- Was steadfast
- Has big shoes to fill!
How thankful I was for the comfort of the Truth from God’s Word that was read from I Thessalonians 4 ~
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I can’t help but wonder about those who have an up-close look at my life. What are they seeing? What will be remembered about me that will cause them to rejoice? What are they seeing that points them to my God? Will I leave big shoes to fill, as he did, or will the world just go on as though I had never been here at all?
I thank the Lord for the godly example of Mr. Rod Carter. My front row seat gave me an example to follow and a testimony to repeat. May it be so.