Next week I will be attending the memorial service of a friend who died at age 87 after a short illness. He was a Pastor in Glasgow,Scotland back in 1972 when I was his intern, and he came here to the United States to serve as Senior Pastor of Georgetown Presbyterian Church in our nation’s capital. He served there for 20 years.
Throughout the years we maintained monthly contact where we had long telephone conversations about Church, Politics, Family and Friends. Now he is gone, leaving a family of his wife Audrey, two daughters who are Presbyterian ministers, and another daughter who is a civil servant in the UK.
The reality is that no matter how old someone is, there are powerful memories – of times of great joy, and of sensitive times of compassion and hope. Platitudes are easy at this time but Faith is stronger! In an article published on Beliefnet.com some years ago, Campbell wrote these words reflecting upon the end of our time here on earth: “Whatever words are used, humility before God is the only attitude that finds divine strength. Faith is humility’s hand outstretched to grasp the life line. And the life line is there. Its many strands are in God’s revelation in the experience of others who faced life and death as do we, and supremely in Jesus Christ whose uniqueness is set forth in the scriptures. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.’ – Psalm 23″ Rev. C. Campbell Gillon, “The Essence of the Protestant Funeral“ Beliefnet.com
So my sadness is overcome with the joy and affirmation of our shared faith. He is with the Lord and the bond of love and friendship is never broken.