I attended a funeral yesterday. It was for my close friend Debi’s dad.
For many people, funerals are not something they look forward to attending. The sadness; the loss; the feelings of emptiness; the reality that their loved one cannot be seen anymore.
Yesterday however, was filled with moments of ordinary holiness as I witnessed, through the pictures, the media presentation and the words of those left behind, a man who loved his friends, his community, his family and his God.
This funeral was an inspiration to me.
I came home determining that, when I grow up, I want to be just like Mr. H.
The medals and honors (from the service, Kiwanis, community), the gleam still in his eye for his wife of 62 years, the commitment to raise his kids in the way God instructs, the doting he did on his grandkids and great-grand daughter. The entire service spoke volumes of his simple, servant’s heart.
What hit me the most was that he did so much secretly. I wouldn’t call him a “quiet” man for he always had a joke or witty comment whenever I greeted him. But he gave quietly.
One-by-one stories emerged of the times he, unselfishly and without recognition, gave.
Sometimes it was shoveling a neighbor’s driveway without being asked.
Or taking them hot baked muffins.
Another time it was paying a churches’ tax bill of $1,000 quietly; a church he didn’t even attend.
Yet another story of the time when, for an entire year, he tucked a $100 bill into a struggling family’s mailbox every week, expecting no repayment except for the joy of knowing he was giving because God told him to.
Mr. H also was probably the most loyal husband I knew.
He stayed hopelessly and visibly in love with his dear wife of 62 years, caring for her quietly and lovingly through over 50 of those years with her medical condition that required countless hospital trips and stays, caring for his children alone during those times, and then administering home care for her in his later years, given by him oft times around the clock.
He never complained.
He counted it a sincere joy to serve his sweet wife.
As I sat there weeping, I was struck by the holy moments he participated in on those seemingly mundane days of life.
So often we want thrill, excitement, recognition, purpose.
Mr H found purpose quietly serving the person standing in front of him.
With an audience only of One.
Now he is with that One forever, hearing no doubt the words of Jesus, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Mr H., through the 24 years I knew you, whenever I looked at you, I sorta saw you.
But mostly, I saw Him.
Do you have a loved one who has passed on that greatly impacted the legacy YOU want to leave? Write a comment, or simply say a prayer asking God to help you “quietly give” like Mr. H or love big like Aunt Laura or serve sweetly like Grandma Sharon. Take a moment to reflect. God has a good purpose in the grief.
I know a man that was like this. He was such a Godly man and missed very much. I pray I can be an example like this and remember that I don’t need an audience.
Wow. Brought tears to my eyes. Great reminder, Karen. Thanks.
What an amazing man of god. We can only hope to be exactly like him following after Jesus in all we do. Thank-you for that wonderful tribute to him.
May we all find purpose quietly serving the person standing right in front of us, what a different place this world would be if we did. Something for all of us to strive for.
One of your best stories. I pray that I can accomplish even one of the things this man did in his life time. And I pray I always remember what I do is for that audience of One. I, too, want to hear “well done” when I meet my Jesus at the eastern gate.
That is a great ending to the blog post, and a high call for us to strive towards in our own life. Living life for an audience of one, is a great sentence to also carry with me. :)