Approximately one month ago, an acquaintance of ours went out on his sailboat. The boat washed up on the shores of an island later that afternoon but our friend’s body has not been found.
Such a difficult and grief-filled situation but what a memorable and honouring memorial.
The church was packed. The music was meaningful. The tributes were heart-felt and uplifting.
“There wasn’t a work Bob, a church Bob and a gym Bob. (giggle from the congregation) There was just Bob – right across the board.”
Words to describe Bob – servant, mentor, choir and worship leader, father and grandfather, an encourager, had a heart for Missions, professional, songwriter, volunteer for so many organizations, “like a brother”, took every chance to help others, a man who trusts and perseveres. Bob’s wife shared with depth, humour and hope about the man she loved. She lightened everyone’s spirit when she shared with a giggle that Bob’s mantra was, “It’s impossible to have too many parties or friends.”
She also encouraged everyone to examine their condition before the Lord. “Bob thought he had more time.”
The pastor talked about the difference between memories and hope.
“Memories look back, hope looks forward. Memories hold pleasure and pain. As Christians, fond memories are not all that we have left when a loved one dies. Memories are dependent on our ability to hold them but hope is secure. Hope in our Almighty God is more durable than our fondest memories.
He also shared from 1 Peter 4.7, a scripture written to broken-hearted followers of Jesus — The end of all things is near. “So much hurt but the end of all things — car accidents, tumors, cancer, radiation, war, terrorism, suffering, sorrow, hurricanes, crime, hatred, violence, fear, grief, boating accidents and loneliness — is at hand.
So, fill your heart with hope. God never leaves things half done.”
Written in the brochure handed out at the church:
A naval officer once wrote his wife, “If you should hear that our cruiser was sunk and none were saved, then do not weep. The sea in which my body sinks is nothing but the hollow of my Savior’s hand, and nothing can snatch me from it.” Page 87, “A Path through Suffering” by Elisabeth Elliot