2 Timothy 1:8-10 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
His Own Purpose and Grace
Thank you all so, so much for your prayers for Rose, for her loved ones, for me.
As for her funeral service, EVERYTHING went “wrong.” They even moved her more than fifty miles away to the wrong funeral home and had to transfer her back again! I could make you a list of so many things that just did not go according to plan. But I’ll save you the trouble of so much reading. (You’re welcome!)
And yet, if it had gone perfectly according to the plans of those who did plan, it would never have turned out to be so perfect, so beautiful, and so honoring of both God and Rose.
Personally, I was missing page two of the eulogy that I’d had to write quickly by hand this morning as the printer was out of ink. I had to just play that part by heart. But that was okay. It was a heart-thing anyway. The guitarist that accompanied my harmonica lives out of town and we had only moments before the service began to work out the song we did. Someone made the decision for me that I was singing. What a mess it all was. And were there ever glitches! Did we ever make mistakes! But they only served to add the personal touch that really did make things perfect, just the way God ordained them.
As most all of Rose’s family lives hours away, only a few knew who I am and who I was to Rose. So I introduced myself before “reading” the eulogy:
“...but most times, we weren’t doing anything at all. She just wanted me to sit down with her, drink a cup of that mud that Greg calls coffee. And I drank it, even if I didn’t want to. Ate those chocolate chip cookies she sat in front of me too. Which, by the way, tasted far better than Greg’s sad excuse for coffee. It didn’t matter that I didn’t really want them. I wouldn’t have taken away the joy she got from her own hospitality for anything in this world...” Greg was an angel and took my teasing like a pro. And there was, for a moment, laughter.
“...I once stood on top of the counter, dusting Rose’s trinkets, singing beneath my breath. She asked ‘What’s that you’re singing?’ So I sang to her, ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ and she seemed so pleased. Today, especially today, if you don’t know God as Counselor, please get to know Him. He has the best counsel there is. He’s just good that way...”
After all was said and done, I stood outside, listening to family and friends, offering them whatever comfort I could or simply a shoulder to cry on. I found the most difficult and uncomfortable moments not to be recovering from the glitches, the reading of the eulogy, to be stuck singing when I have never done so publicly, nor to be the sharing of loved ones’ grief. But rather, the hardest part was hearing those much repeated words:
“You’re an angel.” “You sounded like an angel.” “You looked like an angel up there.” “You must be an angel.”
What a humbling experience. All I could say was “It was an honor to do this for Rose.” But all the while, all I could think was No. No! All glory to God alone! No, I’m no angel at all. I’m just as human, just as weak, just as real and living in this fleshly body as the next person. My blood runs red. My heart both rejoices for Rose’s immortal life and grieves for the loss of my dearly loved friend. I’m no angel.
Then someone said to me, “You should be a writer!” All I could do was smile. Yes, perhaps I should be. But I would gladly lay down my pen, which oftentimes serves as nothing more than an outlet for me, if I thought that God wasn’t at least getting a tiny bit of the glory due Him out of it. Not everything I write is praise. Not everything I write turns out the way I want it to or the way I plan. Some of it has errors or is just poorly written. Some of it just needs to go into the recycle bin!
But if one word can bring comfort to another, if one word can put a smile on my Heavenly Father’s face, if one word can make a small difference in someone’s life, then yes, I should be a writer.
I find it an honor to read and write and to just be among the best, my fellow faithful "pencil pushers" who bring so much glory to God and whose prayers and love mean so much to me.
My sincerest appreciation and many overflowing cups of grace to you all!
Treav, I am so sorry for not keeping up with your articles in the last few days. You know, the truth is, the family understands you are just a human, BUT, in that one terrible, dark hour of their lives, you appeared as an angel to them, and for that, they are grateful, and comforted; and they will never forget your kind, loving, and generous spirit. God bless, Barb
"But if one word can bring comfort to another, if one word can put a smile on my Heavenly Father’s face, if one word can make a small difference in someone’s life, then yes, I should be a writer."
Sis, you are a writer. An angel writer that is! Love, Gloria
Ditto- to all the comments. I am happy to learn from your heart felt words of wisdom! Danette
10 Oct 2007
Joyce, do you know why I like your writing? Because you write from your heart. Your words are always heart-words. And that the eulogy was what you considered a disaster, in your telling of it, it was no disaster. It was a glimpse into heaven, where Rose sat watching you, laughing at your self-admitted bungling of things. She would be saying, "No, Joyce my friend, you haven't bungled anything. You have given me such pleasure, knowing that you didn't do this for your own glory or satisfaction. You did it for me. You did it for the Lord. You did it because you are the wonderful person I knew on earth. You are a blessing, Joyce. Thanks for being my friend. I will meet you soon in glory. I am with Jesus now. I am happy. You be too."...Write on, Joyce. Write on - and "right on!"....Helen
Oh, and do you ever bring a smile to people and touch their hearts...over and over, again!!!! Whether you are writing or playing a musical instrument or singing, your love comes shining through! You know, 'being real' is much more effective than being a 'perfect angel' for you are someone who feels people's pain and reaches their hearts. People can connect with you and come away feeling loved and encouraged. Hmmmmmm, I think that's what God wants His Children to do, don't you? I love you...Peggy