Wednesday, February 4, 2009

John



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.


All for now. . .with love,


35 comments:

  1. Lovella, I was so saddened to hear of the reason for your absence these past couple of days (from Jill). Your brief absence from cyberspace is nothing compared to the absence that Hilda will feel. And that is nothing at all compared to the immense joy we will feel when we each join Jesus, as John has done.

    This must have been difficult for you to pull together, but it's a wonderful tribute to a man who loved his Lord and his family and friends.

    Blessings to you all.

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  2. Praying for God's comfort and peace for all who loved John especially his dear wife. Wonderful tribute to John's life here on earth...

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  3. Wow. Another reminder that each day is a blessing...so sorry for you and Hildas loss.

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  4. Words are so painfully inadequate at a time like this.... I send a long, tight hug instead!
    My prayers are for you and all who have lost John in their lives - I know the ache is deep !
    I pray that God's sweetest presence will confort all who mourn, especially Hilda - may His arms of comfort hold her close!

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  5. Lovella, you have captured the essence of this dear friend with your thoughtful words.

    We lost a dear one this week in our community who was much older and had been ill for too long. That was bad enough, but to lose one who was so vigorous and in such an unexpected way is such a shock.

    I am praying for Hilda and for all of John's family and friends. Heaven has gained a treasure that you have lost. Still it is wonderful to know that loved ones are safely home...

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  6. Lovella, out thoughts and prayers are with you, and the family and close friends of John. Although there aren't adequate words to say at a time such as this, may the reassurance and comfort that he is now with his Saviour give a peace of heart.

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  7. Lovella..wonderful tribute to your friend John. You and Terry and Hilda's family have been on my heart and will continue to be..
    Blessings..

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  8. I am so sorry Lovella! Please extend my sympathies to Hilda, even though I don't know her.

    Isn't it true that for Christians death is a graduation, but the ones left behind are the sad ones.

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  9. Lovella - what a beautiful tribute to John - our thoughts and prayers go out to Hilda and her family - I can't even imagine the pain they are all feeling. Each day we have here is a blessing - with love, Flo

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  10. lovella...i remember the post of hilda's b-day and thought to myself what a beautiful man to be doing this for his wife....not many women have that kind of love.
    my heart breaks for you and the family.....my they feel embraced my God's comforting arms....
    and also for you as you love and care for your friend right now.

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  11. There are no words that can take away the pain at a time like this...but my thoughts and prayers are with you and Terry. What a wonderful tribute you posted to your dear friend...and may his life's testimony continue on in his absence.

    I'm praying for Hilda and the family as well...that they will experience God's peace, comfort and strength.

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  12. Dear Lovella

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. You did well to write such an eloquent tribute.

    I will be keeping Hilda and her family - and you and Terry as well - in my prayers.

    May the Lord comfort each of you with His deep love and mercy.

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  13. What a loss. I can't imagine what Hilda has lost...He seems so genuine, humble and loving...
    It's another reminder for us to seize the day and love on our families. We never know the day or time, but what wonderful memories you have shared together.
    A beautiful tribute to John.

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  14. Lovella, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend John. He sounds like such a dear friend, and special husband for Hilda, and a treasure for the community. These kinds of people are so sorely missed. I do pray that the memorial service will be a special time and a time of comfort as you all rejoice in John's salvation. I'm sorry for Hilda's loss too.

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  15. I am truly sorry to hear about your good friend's sudden passing. May God be a comfort to you and Terry, and to John's family in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead.

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  16. Dear Lovella,
    I have no words. . . .but my prayers for the family have not stopped since I heard the news. May God grant them 'peace that passeth all understanding' as they go through this difficult time.
    Debbie M.

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  17. Lovella, your tribute to John is beautiful. Such great memories! We'll continue to pray for Hilda and the family (as well as you and Terry) as you deal with this loss.

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  18. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend...words just aren't enough, but know that my thoughts will be with you.
    As I've been grieving the loss of my dad recently one of my biggest regrets (and I have too many)is that I don't have many pictures. I'm so glad you took the time for those pictures - what a wonderful memory of a dear friend!

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  19. Lovella, thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. I was SO shocked to hear of John's passing (now that I live away from home I don't get all the updates). John & Hilda were good friends of my parents and I remember that we used to 'rent' their tent trailer for our summer vacations :)

    I will keep them in my prayers. Blessings to you.

    Bonnie

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  20. Lovella, deepest sympathy to you & Terry in the unexpected loss of your dear friend. There is just no way to prepare for this kind of thing & I pray that you experience God's unsurpassed comfort. May God grant you wisdom as you help Hilda through this unbelievable loss!! My heart aches for you all.
    Vange

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  21. I only met John and Hilda that one morning, but they were the couple that stood out in my mind. I can still see the guys jawing at one end of the long table while the gals got caught up at the other end. I often thought about your Sunday morning times with friends and frankly have felt a bit of envy.
    As much as it hurts to lose John, the hurt tells you that there was great love there and great lose too. Chancing such pain is the inherent risk in having deep relationships.

    There must be such comfort knowing the next gathering with John will also be at a long table, and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb will show you that those Sunday morning times where really just a small foretaste of heaven.

    Hilda, if you are reading this, I am weeping for you too. What a blessed woman you were to have John beside you for as long as you did.

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  22. Your post may have felt scattered but the message was clear.

    Thinking of you and your friends in the days to come...

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  23. How blessed is the passing of one who knew and loved the Lord so well. Yet, at the same time sorrowful for those left behind to lose the effects of his presence. Heaven becomes sweeter and this life a little less dear. Oh to be with him in Christ's presence! That will be glory! Our hearts go our to you.

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  24. I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost a dear friend. There's nothing easy about that. Once again you've expressed yourself beautifully. I'll be thinking and praying for you and your dear friend Hilda.

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  25. I am so sorry, Lovella. What a beautiful remembrance. I lost a dear friend to breast cancer a year ago, and her memory is still so present.

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  26. What a lovely tribute you've written. Your friend will surely be missed, for many reasons.
    A reminder, indeed, that one 'never knows'.

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  27. That birthday surprise for Hilda was a beautiful memory of John. The excitment and anticipation in his eyes was worth giggling over. It was almost like watching his first date! He was a very generous, and honest man. Good post, Lovella! Heal sweetly.

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  28. I'm sorry to hear about the leaving for heaven of your friend John. I too have a dear friend there and am very grateful for the years we shared.
    Another B.C. gal
    Sandy

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  29. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend. He sounds like an amazing Saint of God ;-)

    Praying for his wife now...her heart must be so heavy at the loss of such a wonderful husband.

    I love you Lovella, thanks for sharing your life with me.

    Kimmie
    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

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  30. I'm so sorry. Please give your friend an extra long hug from all of us out here in blogland...

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  31. OH Lovella, I can hear your aching heart through this post. I pray that you & Terry, and especially Hilda will experience the warmth and comfort of the Lord's gentle touch. You are a wonderful friend to those you love. It is very apparent in your honoring words.

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  32. Lovella, I am so sad for your loss. My heart goes out to Hilda --- how difficult for her. I remember John from your former posts and feel like a little bit of "What Matter's Most?" is missing now. I know you will keenly feel the loss for years to come.

    May God bring comfort to the hearts of those who love John.

    LaTeaDah

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  33. Our thought have been with Hilda these last days too as well as the loss that your care group is feeling. I love what someone mentioned about your care group breakfasts being a fortaste of heaven . ..
    At the church service today (in Vegas) we were told to greet each other and say what we look forward to the most about heaven . ..
    As the tears continue to flow while we are on this earth . . . may we also be comforted with the assurance of the reunion in heaven...where God will wipe away our tears. We will be praying for Hilda too.

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  34. What an appropriate name for such an amazing man. To have left such an impression on his friends, certainly speaks to his character and love of Christ. Please pass along my condolences to his beautiful wife. God Bless you all.

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  35. Words can't express the sadness we feel for Hilda, her children, and grandchildren. We have been and will continue to pray for them. Also for you and your care group as you help to care for the family in many different ways....grieving along side them as you too have lost a dear friend. With love Kathy

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Thank you!