I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 1 Thess 4:13-14
I have performed many funerals in my time but none like the one on Saturday for Ms. JoAn.
It was a celebration of life with stories about the things she did and the many, many lives she touched.
Linda and I stayed at the church for 5-1/2 hours, though we had to help prepare things, practice songs, and set up the media presentation.
The service started at noon and ended at 2:30 p.m. It seemed but a few minutes.
Of course, I read some scripture that I felt related to her but then many others came forward and told of how this single individual did so much to impact their lives.
One such story was about her participation in this year’s National Veteran’s Golden Age games, were she managed to do the impossible.
Ms JoAn was the victim of a stroke from over 30 years ago. Her arm was curled and virtually useless, her leg had a brace, and she had impaired sight in her eye. Although she could walk very slowly with the help of a walker, at the games it was best for her to use a wheelchair.
She managed to shoot an air rifle and win first place for Wheelchair – Womens Singles – 80-84 age range. Keep in mind she’s in a wheel chair with one good arm and one good eye.
The official was so impressed with her ability that he did not show her the target for several minutes while he showed many others her dead center shooting skills.
For such a “handicapped” woman to do all the things she accomplished, I can find but one scripture that best describes her – Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
No matter what life throws at you, pull yourself together, seek God help, and move forward. You, too, can do all things through His strength!