The Passing of Two Friends…

Over the last few months I lost two very dear friends who influenced my life–one man and one woman.  Charles Dart was a true Christian gentleman in every way and through his witness I discovered the beauty of God’s everyday grace.  And that grace changed everything for me.   2 Timothy 2:1,2 KJV “…Be strong in the grace that is Christ Jesus.  And the things that thou hast heard of Me…the same commit thou to faithful men [women], who shall be able to teach others, also.”  Even though we hadn’t been in contact of many years, I feel the void in my life as well as the responsibility of passing on the mantle of grace to the next generation thanks to Charles.

Last night I learned of the passing Betty Wheeler, the mother of one of my best friends.  As a child growing up in the Troy SDA church, to me she represented the Proverbs 31 woman of hospitality and congeniality by opening her home to her daughters’ friends Sabbath after Sabbath.  I vowed that, one day, I would do the same.  The results of my promise have been spotty at best, but her example gave me a goal toward which to aspire.  She will be missed.  Hebrews 13:2 KJV “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Though I was hardly an angel when I dined at her table, I am sure that, over the years, between bratty little girls and outright scoundrels, this beautiful lady fed her fair share of angelic guests.

Best yet, though their sentences on this earth have been punctuated with a comma and not a period, (the best is yet to come) their beautiful examples of Christianity in action will continue.  Thank you, Charles and Betty.  Only in Paradise will you discover how far reaching your actions have been.   “We are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses…let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 KJV

As for those of us still on Planet Earth, we should take the time  to thank those who’ve shaped us into the people of faith we are today.  We can thank God for their examples, and then ask for ways God can better use us to affect the lives of the next generation.

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