Just a personal note.
In the last 2 weeks two friend have went home to be with Jesus. Bill Ohmer was someone I first met over 30 years ago, when he was just a young man at our Church. Back then, he and his new wife became close friends with my two sons. In fact Bill taught my youngest son to play the bass. He was 57 when God called him home two weeks ago. He’ll be greatly missed by all who loved him. Only recently I had come upon a stack of photos, taken at one of our church’s baptismal services which showed Bill helping to baptize my youngest son. This took place in the Licking river one Sunday morning right after Sunday School. There must have been 10 or more baptized that morning. It was a wonderful day. Bill and his wife could not have children of their own, but after the sudden death of his sister-in-law yrs ago, he and his wife Debbie raised her children like their own: Bill even got to experience being called grandpa in recent years as the children grew up and married. I know they will all miss him terribly.
Another friend went home two days ago. Her name was Toni Strang. I met her and a couple other ladies 11 yrs ago at Chip Brogden’s old discussion board. We 4 just “clicked”. Over the years we’ve stayed friends, even enjoyed online bible studies together, talked about our ups and downs, shared family photos, times of joy and times of pain and sorrow. Many don’t think you can make lasting friendships online, and though I’m sure its not the ‘norm’, it does happen once in awhile. Even though times would occur when we didn’t hear from each other for awhile, when we picked back up, it was like those stretches of time had never happened. I loved her dearly. All four of them. Toni will be missed from our little group.
Someone posted a beautiful poem on Toni’s facebook page today. I loved it and wanted to share it with you.
At the gates of the Golden City, by the walls of precious stone
Stands a band of tired pilgrims, weary from the road.
They see a place so beautiful, they see a place so free.
And with His arms wide open, to embrace each one
They hear the Father’s Welcome, as He says Well Done
You are home, you are home.
Through the gates of the Golden City, come the keepers of the faith
They’re the ones whose hearts were humble, they’re the ones who ran the race.
They see His face so beautiful, shining like the sun.
And with His arms wide open, full of love and pride
They hear the Father’s Welcome,
‘ Won’t you come inside, You are home, You are home.’
Who knows from where we’ve come, or what our stories are
From North and South, East or West
We all have travelled far
So meet me at the finish line, it’s where our journey ends
With the hosts of heaven, singing endless praise
Yours, Toni, a crown of glory, for eternal days.
You are home, You are home.
It made me think of the words which came to me when my Mom went home: that she was just on the other side of the door. Not really gone, but waiting. I still miss my Mom greatly and my Dad, but like Bill and Toni, I know one day we will all be reunited. In the meantime I’ll keep on doing what I can for the Kingdom, while knowing they all have made it home. And one day, so will I.
God bless…thanks for “listening”