Wow! It was a wonderful, cleansing, healing day when so many people gathered together to mark the end of one man's life and celebrate all that was he was as child of God, and will be as resurrected and redeemed one. The love and support were overwhelming; the pastors eloquent and their presence such a blessing; the family strong and close, as each one shared readings, words, and song; the gathering of all at the Table of the Lord; songs chosen by Jim, himself. I repeat, here, my thoughts shared on that day. Karen
"Hi, and welcome. Today is a very special day--one we thought might never come. But God led a man out into the desert one more time, and led him straight to Jim. So, we are feeling blessed to be able to gather here to celebrate Jim’s life, and to worship the One who gave him that life and - will give him a new life in the end.
I was privileged to share 43 years with Jim. For the life that he gave me, all that he taught me, the ways he helped me to grow, and the amazing children that he blessed my life with—I am so grateful. It wasn’t easy; our personalities were so different. But we were so united, and full of passionate agreement on the big stuff of life.
Since the day that Jim vanished from my life, I’ve spent many days and countless conversations evaluating, wondering, mulling over, turning events over and over in my mind (and often coming up with a new twist on my theories). No matter what I come to believe happened I come to realize in the end, that much of what happened in Jim’s end was deeply woven into the fabric of our lives. Our shared love of the land, of living in sync with the natural processes of life, the conversations that we had questioning the extent to which we were comfortable with medical intervention, our love of God’s creation, and how we could best live in harmony with it. These shared thoughts set a backdrop, which makes everything seem, in some ways, okay—in some ways it fits. Though we really have no idea what was going through his mind, whether he changed his mind, or what really happened, we do know that he died in a beautiful place, and God called him home.
I can’t begin to put into just a few words how much I have learned and grown and been blessed with, in the past six months--in spite of my world turning upside down—or—no—probably because my world turned upside down. And everyone of the people in this place today has been a part of that blessing. So thank you for all of it—for your prayers and your work.
My dear Jim—not a perfect man in the least, one who, I am convinced, I (and perhaps others) misunderstood. Perhaps we didn’t see all the beauty of the forest because we were looking at the trees—the things that troubled us. My dear Jim, who was a pragmatic man, and made decisions based on fact more than feelings, did he think he could slip away quietly and no one would notice? This man, who never wanted to be the center of attention…if he only knew. We have laughed more than once on this journey, that, “Jim, for not wanting to be the center of attention—you really blew it.”*** But here is what I think he did know: that we would survive, and become okay, and live on to serve in this world. ----------“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”
I learned a little more about my husband one day when I picked up that book found on his desk. I’d like to share a few more of the things he highlighted and found significant: (Readings from God’s Inspirational Promise Book by Max Lucado.)
So, what a privilege today to celebrate the life of this man who lived his life in service to the one and only God, his church, and his family. He did what he believed he was called to do—and he finished it." "God is good!"