I have one deep, supreme desire,
That I may be like Jesus.
To this I fervently aspire, That I may be like Jesus.
I want my heart His throne to be, So that a watching world may see,
His likeness shining forth in me. I want to be like Jesus.
(Thomas O Chisholm)
Though our friend John did not pen these words, he very well could have ...
John slipped away from this earth quickly and unexpectedly Tuesday evening.
As I was looking through my pictures .. .I smiled as I saw this one. He had been rushing around getting ready for Hilda's big birthday. After helping him arrange the 50 dozen roses that he hauled into the little community hall. . .
I said. . ."John. . .sit down. . .I need to take your picture"
"What for?" He asked. . .and as we often bantered back and forth. . .
I said. . ."because you never know" So he sat. . .
That is the truth. . .you just never know. Sunday morning we had coffee together with our small group as we most often do. I reminded John that I owed him $5 from the previous Sunday when my Starbucks card ran out .. . .John of course was not terribly concerned about his $ 5 bucks. . .and eventually I might have been in line before him and cleared the debt.
It is so easy to say nice things about John. In making phone calls to friends, we heard story after story about John and his generous and kind nature. This community has lost a very good friend.
When we started farming 14 years ago, it was John that willingly and generously gave of his time to teach Terry how to be a farmer. .
Our friendship started many years earlier. . .when our children attended the same Christian School. As is often the case, a small group of parents become known for their willingness to show up at work bees . .. John was always there. . .nothing was beneath him and he stayed until the job was done. .
His love for his family will always and forever be his legacy. . .for them he would have done anything. His love for Hilda and their children and his little granddaughters was known by us all.
Oh Hilda, my heart aches for you. . . . . . no one will ever replace the love of your life. We are praying that God will sustain you and give you courage and strength. . .one day at a time.
Somehow now. ..the memory of your birthday in 2007. . . and John and his roses for you. . seems just the perfect example of his love for you .. . (click on the red part for the story)Knowing John and his love for his Lord and Saviour. . Terry and I have wondered what that moment was like for him. . .when he entered eternity. If you knew John. . . .you would wonder this also. . . If someone would have asked him. . ."John. . do you know for sure that you will go to heaven when you die?". . . .His answer would have been a firm yes.
His memorial service will be a celebration of his life here on earth. We don't need to feel sad for John. . .but we feel so sad for those left behind.
I've had a very hard time focusing my thoughts for this post. . .even now, it seems so scattered. . I trust you will see the sentiment of my heart. I'll be back next week.