Friday, July 06, 2018

A Celebration Of Life (Ken Ellis)

Lord willing, I am in Can Tho, Vietnam. For the next 29 days, my writing platform will be manned (or womaned) by friends and relatives. Tonight's entry is from my very good friend, Ken Ellis, of Wichita, Kansas. Prayers for my work, please!

I was blessed to attend two funerals in August 2004 within a span of four days.  I know how strange this must sound to be blessed by another’s passing, but bear with me.  

The contrast of the two was remarkable in terms of the ages of the deceased.  One was a funeral for identical twin girls who were born prematurely after twenty-two weeks and lived for less than an hour in the arms of their parents.  The other was for a local civic leader who was seventy-three years old. It was a contrast of what “might have been” with “what was.” Though each had different life-spans, the common thread was they were equally loved by their families.   And when Christian families lose loved ones, their funerals become celebrations of the lives they lived and of the joyful lives to come.

The eulogy for the twins was given by their father who didn’t demand an answer from God for what happened, but ended his remarks with Joshua’s familiar words “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”  The eulogist for my Christian friend, Bob, said something that none of us can truly experience or fully understand until the day that we depart to be with our Lord. He said, “I don’t know if this will help you, but it helps me.  As much as he loved his wife and family, from the joy he is now experiencing with his Savior, he wouldn’t come back to this earth even if he could.” And so I was blessed by each of these services by being reminded of the frailty of life; of how precious it is, and of how quickly we can lose those we love so dearly.  I was blessed by the faith that both of these families displayed and their affirmations that the departed were now victorious in Jesus. And while it’s possible to feel that the twins and their parents were denied times of future happiness together, the greater feeling is of joy for the twins, for they have exchanged life’s heartaches for the warmth and security of their Heavenly Father’s love.   

And so we press on with life here below,
With thoughts of Heaven so fair,
And joy in our hearts that allows us sweet peace,
From knowing our loved ones live there.
Applicable quote of the day:
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
C.S. Lewis
God bless, Steve Luke 18:1 E-mail me at

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