Thursday, June 07, 2007

When I am gone...

I came across this quote yesterday and really appreciated it:

Shortly before his death, [William] Carey said to a friend: "You have been saying much about Dr. Carey and his work. When I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey; speak about Dr. Carey's Saviour."

This reminded me of Gene Edward Veith's recent article in TableTalk, "A Tale of Two Funerals."

It also reminded me of the several funerals I have been to or heard about recently. [Aside: I feel like I am in a bit of a season of funerals. On reflection, though, I suspect that I'm just remembering that I'm part of a creation continues to groan.] Some of the funerals fall into the "much to say about Dr. Carey and his work" category; others fall into the "Dr. Carey's Savior" category. Not that the "talking about Dr. Carey"-type is inherently wrong; but Veith's article does articulate good reasons for having a "Dr. Carey's Saviour"-type funeral.

Two of these funerals particularly stand out to me. One was for my pastor's mother-in-law, a dear woman who was singing God's praises as she lay on her death bed. Two things to note. First, she had hidden God's Word in her heart, and that was what overflowed when life-in-a-fallen-world overcame her body (I was remarkably convicted - not enough of God's Word is in my heart). Second, at her funeral, her son did read about her life, but he punctuated each phase of her life with the refrain, "And God was faithful." The funeral was all about highlighting how God remained faithful to her in every period of her life.

The second funeral I wasn't able to attend, but I (along with countless others) had the privilege of following closely the last year of his life: WTS prof Al Groves. Like the funeral I mention above, Prof. Groves and his family had a refrain; their was/is "God's unfailing love endures forever." Everything about Prof. Groves' life and death pointed to his Savior, and his remarkable family continues to do so.

What a legacy both of these saints leave behind! A legacy of faith, but even more than that, a legacy of showing God's unfailing love and faithfulness.

I expect that there won't be nearly as much to say about Molly Routson as there is to say about William Carey (or Professor Groves), so I suspect it will be easier to abide by his exhortation at my funeral. Nevertheless, for the record, When I am gone, say nothing about Molly; speak about Molly's Saviour.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful reminders.

Thank you, dear Molly.
-- tkb