Tuesday, March 23, 2010

He only loved one woman, he was always proud of what he had. He said his greatest contributions are the ones he'll leave behind

I don't blog about my faith real often. The reason for this is simple: I'm not a theologian, not a biblical scholar, not an expert on anything (anything, period really!) regarding my religion. I'm a Christian because I see the Good Lord's Love everywhere I look. I have physically felt His touch when I needed him, I see blessings (there are no coincidences) everywhere and when I need a little comfort, I fall to my knees and look inside. And if I ever needed proof that God has a plan, I just look at how it worked out for us to be here in Nebraska, but that's a story for another day. My Pastor did a sermon once on the importance of knowing Christ as well as knowing *about* Christ. Well I've got that one covered and I'm learning more about Him as well. I read my KJV bible and attend a small, conservative (by religious standards, not political) Baptist church. We have about half a dozen families and a whopping 50 or so active members (14 of which are my Pastor and his wife and 12 kids!). Well a few short weeks ago, we lost a beloved member of our church. Brother Mel Johnson suffered an aneurysm a few months ago and developed MRSA, as well as remaining in a coma. He was a deacon in our little Church and a truly delightful man. He was easy with a smile and he *always* made you feel like seeing you at Church was the highlight of his week. He loved children and the baby of our church loved to hang out in his arms and make him laugh. We had a small service for him at our little wooden white church. He'd been buried where he was raised down in Missouri, but his family felt it was extremely important to have a service for those of us who loved him as our Brother in Christ to be able to say goodbye. It wasn't a sad occasion, per se, but it was very emotional. You see we all know that Brother Mel is in Heaven right now with our Lord and Savior. He's in Heaven not because he was a good man (though he was), not because he was a good church member (though he was) and not because he gave so freely of his love and time (though he did). He's in Heaven because he accepted his condition as a sinner and realized that the only Hope (capital H hope, we call it) lie in Jesus Christ and the blood he shed on Calvary to wash way our sins. So knowing that Brother Mel is up in Heaven makes us joyful, blissful, thankful for HIM. But for those of us left behind, particularly his wife and son and daughter, it's a tough lot. I watched Mrs Johnson cry in the front row, just staring at the images of a life well-lived and my heart just broke. You see, when I'm in those situations my sorrow is always for the wife left behind. I love my husband with every fiber of my being and I know that if he passes out of this world before I do, that my life will come to a screeching halt. Can you imagine having to say good-bye to someone who has been your friend, your partner, your only true love after 30, 40 or 50 years? It's easy to see why some spouses just can't go on and die of a broken heart, much like Johnny and June.

So I want to raise my glass to Brother Mel Johnson and the life he lived so well. Thanks for touching all of us around you. In the spirit of the man you truly were, I'm going to close with a bible passage that I find particularly touching.

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."

--Titus 2:11-15

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