The other day I watched a good friend of mine die. He had a good run â€“ he was 76 â€“ and knew that death was only a doorway to heaven for him so he was not scared. But it was a death all the same and has left many people, including myself, with a deep sense of loss.
His funeral was amazing. More than 500 people came to the service and the things that were said were astounding. One of the things that I find about funerals is that I learn things about the person that I never knew and I come away wishing that I had known them better.
I had only known Jim for a few years but in that time he had become a good friend. He had a capacity to make you feel special. Whenever he spoke to you, you were the centre of his attention and he cared about what you said and thought. Even in the last days of his life, he was more interested in me and my situation than his own pain and suffering.
But it just wasnâ€™t me. He made it a priority to visit everyone in our church on a regular basis as well as others he had met in various ministries he had outside church. The fact that so many came to his funeral attested to the influence he had during his life.
What drove him was his faith in Jesus. He came to Christ later in life and it transformed him. He had the calm and assured confidence in God that comes from many years of struggling living the Christian life. It was obvious in he way he approached and treated everyone he met. He was always willing to help and took every opportunity to tell people about what Jesus had done for him and how they could have it too.
Itâ€™s not often I come across people like Jim. But when I do, I think that if I was half as confident as him, half as caring as him, half as faithful as him by the time I was his age then I would be very happy. Itâ€™s a good thing to aim for.
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