Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saying Goodbye


I've just returned from a memorial service for my buddy John.

Emotionally draining doesn't begin to describe it.

Our small church was filled with John's family, friends and co-workers. Over 250 were in attendance, standing room only. I've never seen the place so packed.

First Baptist Church, Bristol, RI
Built in 1814

As the organist played, I watched the pews fill with those whose lives John had touched. It was very moving.

I was trying very hard to remain stoic. All was well until this hymn began...


An old favorite and one that always makes me tear up a little. Even when it's not at a memorial service for someone who died far too young.

Our new pastor asked me to say a few words on behalf of our congregation. I decided to share what I said with you. It's just that kind of day.

So no tanks, no aircraft or warships today. I'm just taking some time today to think about what's really important in life.

To God be the Glory...

Until we meet again John...

My remarks -
John, I remember Saturday morning meetings with the Search Committee. You always had a smile and a good word. I so enjoyed working with you, on the Search Committee, at the corn beef and cabbage dinners and in the day to day workings of our church.

You seemed rock solid. But no man can really know another man's heart. All I, and all of us gathered here, can do, is hold tight to your memory and pray that you are with Jesus.

You will be missed John. You will be missed.


Revelation 21:3-4

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.


I say to you John, my brother in Christ -
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

And I say to those left behind -
May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

8 comments:

  1. Once again: my condolences. Loss is hard. You chose good words there, Chris.

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  2. Rough day for you and his family I'm sure. I hope you took some joy out of that beautiful sunset (sunrise?) photo you posted though. Nice find.

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    1. Rougher by far for his family. I pray we gave them some small comfort.

      And that is a sunset, when I found it I was struck by the colors. The sea appears to be liquid bronze.

      Great joy, and peace, it gave me.

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  3. The long farewell is the saddest. Our condolences.

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  4. So very sorry to hear about your loss. Good friends lost are always gone too young and too soon! But you gave him a great eulogy. Very poignant!

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)