Still No Honor in Your Home Town
About a year and a half ago I wrote about an NHC resident who first met me when I was about 16 years old, and who persisted in talking to me like I was still 16 and in serious need of straightening out. She was the aunt of my best friend from my high school years, and I was also friends with her two sons, one a little older and one a little younger than me. She passed away on December 26. The family asked me to conduct her funeral, which I did. The graveside service was at Kingston Memorial Gardens, visible from the Lawnville Road exit on I-40, on one of the coldest days of the year. I miss her - she made me feel young - in a back-handed kind of way, but young just the same.
The very next Saturday, that family and I stood in the cold at that same cemetary, to bury my friend's mother, just steps away from where we buried him four years ago. What a sad time for that family! And yet it could be said at both of those funerals that the mourners need not grieve as do those who have no hope. Both women had a faith in Christ, and therefore gave those left behind an assurance that their dear ones were safe in the arms of Jesus, a certain hope of resurrection to come, and of reunion one day. What a balm for a raw and wounded soul!
Yesterday at our Greenfield Senior Living Bible study, one of my regulars who has become a dear friend over the past few years told me that they had a new resident who knew me in college. That's a sobering thought - that someone who knew me in college is now a resident at an assisted living facility. I didn't recognize the name - maybe I would know her by her maiden name. But she apparently knew me, because she told my friend that she wouldn't have figured me for a pastor in a million years!
Me neither, at least back then. There was a time when no one would have figured Saul of Tarsus for a Christian missionary, either. I'm glad eternal destiny does not hang on a vote of everybodty who has known you over the years. Instead, it comes down to knowing one person, Jesus, and being known by him. How good he is to have loved the unlovely, justified the guilty, and saved the lost.
We visited 321 people at NHC in 2017, and are at 23 so far for the new year.