I’ve been traveling since last Thursday. We left north central IL and made our way to a family reunion in McKenzie, TN. It was a great time with family–lots of laughing, catching up, and telling the stories of days gone by.
From there we headed to Jackson, TN. Just before we left on this trip we learned June Castleberry, mother of Mark Castleberry, had passed away. Mark is a close friend and as some of you may know, chairman of the board at FHU. The memorial service was held Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful service honoring this godly woman.
As a side note let me say this. I’m always concerned about those who refuse to attend funerals. Yes, funerals are difficult. They cause us to grieve. They move us to tears. Some would argue they can do that at home.
Other things, however, cannot be accomplished at home. At home you are not confronted by the stark reality of death. At home you do not personally comfort the family at a time of great need. At home you are not encouraged to look beyond the temporal life to life eternal. At home that death is not resolved in your mind as it is at the funeral. Those who have decided never to attend funerals should reconsider in light of the above benefits.
The last stop made was back in my home town of Greenville, KY. We went to the nursing home where my mother stays. Most of you are aware of her condition based on previous posts. For those who are not, I’ll explain. Since the mid-90’s dementia has taken a toll on her. Her cognitive abilities are all but non-existent. I held her hand, told her everything I thought she might be remotely interested in, told her I loved her and kissed her goodbye.
How do we deal with losing our loved ones to death or even their minds to a wretched disease? Outside of Christ it would be all but impossible to come to terms with the reality of such things. Within Christ I can look forward to a reunion–a reunion far greater than our biannual one day event.
There will come a time when I will see them face to face and spend eternity with them and all of God’s children. My mother will no longer be held prisoner to a disease that has erased her memories. She will no longer be forced to wear the undignified face of one who blankly stares off into space. I will see and know her. She will see and know me–no more sickness–no more pain.
Yet even greater, we will all see our Savior and praise Him forevermore. I look forward to that day with great anticipation.