The first major death in my immediate family. Four days previously my mom had dropped over dead in the church sanctuary. Now in that same room in which her heart had failed, we were having her memorial service. Daddy asked my husband Bill to preach for the funeral.
And so we began. From my perch on the pew I could barely see Bill’s face. The resident pastor gave the introduction. It was then Bill’s turn to speak. He rose to the pulpit to commence giving the words he had worked so hard on. Understandably due to the strain, his voice was a little distorted.
What Was That Noise
I then began to hear a kind of rumbling sound from the platform. What was that noise? I couldn’t hear Bill’s voice; there was just a long silence punctuated by that low choking sound. Then it dawned on me. My stoic husband was sobbing. I had never heard him cry before. Grief was wracking his body. I prayed, “Dear Lord, please calm him down and give him the words.” Bill’s message was the only hope we had for the Gospel to be preached at my parents’ church where the Bible was rarely shared. A miracle was needed.
WE QUIETLY WAITED AND WAITED SOME MORE
We quietly waited and waited some more. The peace of God finally drifted down on my husband’s heart and mind. Bill took a deep breath and began to share about his mother-in-law Hazel and about the grace of Jesus Christ. The death, resurrection, and hope of salvation was clearly laid out for an audience who had rarely heard the Good News.
IT WAS NOT RAIN THAT SMEARED THE WORDS
The truest words are those that have been pierced by the hand of God. The print on the pages of Bill’s open Bible became a little smudged that day when my dear husband’s heart was broken but the story of our Savior was clearly told. “It was not rain that smeared the words.”