Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Tribute…

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 24, 25 

One journey ends…another begins.
A lifetime of experiences…an eternity of joy.
A legacy left behind.
An adventure continues…

On April 26, 2015 at 12:22 am on a Sunday morning, I stood at Heaven’s Gate and watched as a man walked through.

It was a moment of heartache and loss…
It was a moment of beauty and wonder…
It was a moment of holiness…

You see, this man was a Godly man. He had spent his years serving as a pastor, shepherding flocks, teaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He officiated over my wedding almost 32 years ago. His daughter has been my dearest friend for almost 35 years. And one of the last things he did before he slipped into unconsciousness was call her and her husband into his room to pray for the Church. Romans 11:29 tells us that "His gifts and His calling are irrevocable." For this man, that was true; as he laying slipping into eternity, His call to the Church was still there.

He had been lying unresponsive for three days or so. I sat with his son, daughter and her husband, and one of his granddaughters…waiting, watching, reminiscing; sometimes with laughter, sometimes with tears. They remembered days in their childhood, homes they had lived in, some better than others. Conversations they had with their dad in recent days and in days gone by; vacations they had taken even as recently as last year. The joys of life and the heartaches of life.

We would laugh at some of the things he would say that a former pastor should, perhaps, not have said. And then the tears would come, as they told him how much they loved him, what an amazing father and “papa” he was; and while they would miss him greatly, he was free to go and rest in the arms of Jesus and be reunited with his wife of over 60 years, Ruth.

We had Pandora playing music in the background. Every now and then a song would come on that we would sing along with, filling the room with worship. And then a song would play that would be a little odd and we would chuckle and say, “Skip!”

Along about midnight on Saturday, his breathing began to change again. Instead of striving for breath, he became more peaceful and we knew the time was near. His granddaughter heard a woman giggle and say, “Come on!” His daughter crawled into bed alongside him and a song begins to play…

Bless the Lord O my soul, o my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, o my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
10,000 years and forever more!

She looks at me and says, “What an appropriate song!” and lays her head down on his chest, and begins to weep as she listens to his final heartbeats. The song continues to play…

Bless the Lord O my soul, o my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, o my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.1

As the last notes of the song fade away, he takes his last breath. The gates of Heaven swing wide, and he walks through…free from pain, free from this earthly life and on to an eternity with joy unspeakable and full of glory! A holy moment.

On Sunday morning, April 26, 2015 at 12:22 am, Charles Wesley Samuels was presented before "His glorious presence without fault and with great joy."

One journey ends…another begins
A lifetime of experiences…an eternity of joy
A legacy left behind
And, for Charles, a new adventure begins

Reverend Charles Wesley Samuels
2/4/1928 – 4/26/2015

‘Lena Ehlert
©Whispers in Worship, 2015

110,000 Reasons by Matt Redman

No comments:

Post a Comment