"The Wake of Love"
On Monday, I wrote about the homegoing of our dear friend Mr. Jack Howell. His funeral services were held yesterday, at 2:00 p.m. This presented a scheduling conflict for Frances and myself because we conduct two services at a local retirement community on Tuesday afternoons, the first beginning at 2:00 p.m. I was not sure what we should do. Our love and respect for Mr. Howell meant that we wanted to attend the observance of his life and his entrance into the direct presence of the Lord. However, we feel a great and privileged responsibility to fulfill our ministry obligations. As I have shared in the past, we believing in "showing up" regarding ministry, when and wherever possible.
In praying about the matter, I asked the Lord what He would have us do. The thought came to mind, "What would Mr. Howell want us to do?" This instantly answered the question. Indeed, I had a further thought that if Mr. Howell could speak to me, he would have said, "Glen, I'm not going to be at my funeral anyway. So you know what you need to do!" :):) Thus, we conducted the services at the retirement community, which provided another opportunity to tell people what a blessing Mr. Howell was and is to us. More importantly, as Mr. Howell would mandate, we had the opportunity to proclaim the Source of all blessing.
Mr. Howell had his priorities straight regarding life (he has them even straighter now!). To love God and to love people guided our dear brother as he sought to respond to the grace of the Lord Jesus by honoring his Savior, and by sharing His Savior's redeeming goodness with others. What an example for this day in our lives, and for all others! We all have much on our plates, of responsibilities to fulfill and privileges to enjoy. The main course of that plate, however, is the Lord Jesus - "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). As we feast upon Him by seeking to know His love and love Him in response, He will lead and enable us to also love the people in our lives. Mr. Howell set this example for us, and for many others. Following his lead meant that yesterday we fulfilled the priorities set for us, again, to love God and to love people.
This moment and this day offers us the opportunity to truly live. We may respond to the love of God by determining that loving Him and loving people will set our course for the waters through which we sail. As we do, we will follow in the wake of the Lord Jesus, who perfectly loved His Father and His people. And, if we look closely, we will see other currents that help us to make our journey and remain on course. Mr. Jack Howell surely provided one of those Heavenward flows for Frances and myself, as do so many of you. We are grateful, and by the Lord's grace, we seek to follow in the glorious wake of love.
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.'
"Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works."
Weekly Memory Verse (one of the first Bible verses I ever memorized)
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
(I Peter 1:22)