It is Wednesday, and the temp has dramatically fallen back into the double-digits. Time to get back outside.
Had a recent trip back home to Illinois, though not totally unexpected as to its necessity, but then unhappy when it became apparent it was not to be avoided.
My brother (in-law) Bob was laid to rest at age 58 by cancer.
Bob was a good man. This is not an idle comment on his character, it is a true statement.
I do not intend to write the mans obituary here, but to tell you what I know of him.
I last talked to him about 2 weeks before, on the phone. I was sitting under the pines next to the canal that sides our property and we talked of future things.
He was confident in his salvation, and said this is what he has lived for since he was 13. To be with his Savior. "To live is Christ; to die is gain".
I looked up to Bob, as he had accomplished so much, and we had so much in common interest that we could talk in depth of things great and small.
He was a pilot, I was a pilot. We talked of aircraft (his favorite the huge B-29 bomber aka 'Memphis Belle'). He was a radio control airplane builder and flyer; something I wanted to do but never did.
He liked trains and had track and cars in his basement. I enjoyed trains, too. Bob was buried in Virden, in a cemetary that lies close to a railroad crossing. On the day of his funeral, I was about to read from the Bible at the gravesite, when a train whistle announced the coming of a coal train. We all stood there as the train whistled past - 5 diesel engines, 50 coal hoppers and , would you believe it?, a final engine pushing from the back with a final toot on the airhorn for Bob! Isn't God good!!
He was a teacher - the special, dedicated kind. Special Education. His love of these hampered children was a direct outgrowing of the love he had for his Uncle Joe, a man that grew up with the same affliction, but without anyone to help him. Bob saw a need and had a burden from God to spend his life in the service to others that in no way could ever repay him. That is a principle in the Bible. "For what good is it if you give to a neighbor expecting something in return? Is it not better to give unto those that cannot repay?"
He was a husband and a father. I failed in marriage and damaged my three sons as the result of it. My only recourse now is to lay this burden at the feet of Jesus and pray He keep his hand on them and complete in them what I have failed to do.
He is a Christian, and, thanks be to God, I have also given my life to Christ. Bob lived as a Christian all his life. I started at age 46 (but never really became a true follower until 2004, when I was baptised in Jesus Name and received the infilling of the Holy Ghost as evidenced by speaking in tongues).
I am honored that Bobs wife, LuAnn, asked me to participate in his funeral.
Bob ran a good race and I trust in the Righteousness of God that when he stands before Him in the day of Judgement (as ALL of us will) that Bob will be hear 'Enter in, thou good and faithful servant'.
Til we meet again, I love you Bob, my brother.