Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SUZI: Still Teaching

I had a wonderful father-in-law; I learned so many things from him.  He taught me a Bible study when I didn’t know anything about the Lord.  He helped me learn to pray.  I watched his commitment to his church.  He taught me about loving your community and looking outside of yourself.  I learned about painting, remodeling, refinishing, cooking and a list that would be too long to name.  I learned a lot about life from him.  But more importantly, I learned how to die from him.

It’s taken me a year to write this.  It’s taken my mind a long time to deal with the fact that my dad is gone and now my father-in-law is gone.  But I think my brain has processed enough of it to wrap my head around some of my thoughts.  Vernon was so calm and steady to the very end.  I have heard of people in their last moments who give a pulled-together public image but behind the scenes are freaking out and questioning God.  Not Vernon.  He was just simply, well,… Vernon.  Smooth and steady.

He didn’t really want to leave his grandchildren and family behind, but he was just so committed to the will of the Lord in his life, that the disappointment of that was easily overshadowed with trusting the Lord.  No kicking.  No screaming.  No shaking his fist at the sky.  Just Vernon reminding all of us that what He wants is best.  That He’s in control, and we just need to let Him be.  Our actions reveal who we really are and what we really believe.  It was Vernon’s actions, not his words, that were so powerful that last weekend.  They were the proof of his unwavering belief.  Of his steadfast life.  Of his powerful trust with one of the most precious passions he had…his life.

So, thank you, Vernon, for all of those life lessons.  I think the last lesson you left us summed it all up the best.  It was the one that spoke the loudest because it exemplified all that you believed for those short 64 years you were here.  Thank you for teaching us until the very end.  One of these days when it is our time, my wish is to leave this world with as much grace, dignity and trust as you did.

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