Friday, August 12, 2011
At the memorial service in Boston, Georgia, I spoke of my father’s life as a servant.
Mat 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
I don’t think I have ever heard this verse used in a memorial service and I didn’t see it on any of the “list of memorial scriptures”, but it seemed the most appropriate for dad. He was truly the definition of servant.
On of his favorite movies was “Remains of the Day”. There is one scene where Anthony Hopkins’ character is out on the hunt with the master of the house. His master is just sitting on a horse conversing with another huntsman and Hopkins is standing in the drizzle with a cup upheld just in case his master wanted to drink. Winston Churchill said, “Those also serve who ready stand in wait.” Dad was always ready, but he rarely stood. He was always serving.
He served his family. He provided, sometimes through three jobs. And so, we learned the value of hard work. He could and did fix anything. Some of the most dreaded words came when we would ask him to replace something and he would respond with “I can fix that”. We just wanted a new one and instead we ended up with a fully functional, however very ugly, repair. And so, we learned to be content with what we had. He helped people. I remember a time when he had sold a van to a woman. The next week, she called. The van had broken down. We went to pick up the van and he gave her the money back. And so, we learned to help people even when it hurt.
He served his church. Every church he has ever attended recognized that he was a man full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom (Acts 6:3). He became a councilor to every pastor he sat under. He served as Sunday School director and deacon, building , maintenance and sound committees and just took care of things whether he was on the committee or not. And so, we learned the value of church family.
In all of this, he served his god. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Josh 24:15). His house served the Lord, but it was not by command or coercion. He led us by example, service and love. And so, we learned that service of God is no burden, but an expression of love.
I miss him.