Saturday, March 08, 2008

Precious in the Sight of the Lord

This past Friday (3/7) a member of my adult Sunday School class went home to be with the Lord. Very few outside of our church would probably know much about him but his faithfulness to church and to his Lord was always an encouragement to me.

Jim Gibby was a frail, thin man who looked older than his 58 years would warrant. For the past several years he had to carry around a portable oxygen tank to help him with his breathing. Sometimes in church or in SS you could hear the low hum and regular clicking of the mechanism that fed the oxygen to him. To some, I suppose, it could be distracting but for me it was just a constant reminder of his faithfulness. In a day when so many people let the littlest things keep them from church, Jim’s faithfulness, in spite of his physical hardship, serves as a well-needed rebuke.

In addition to that, Jim got me to do something at church one year that I normally would never have done. Those who know me know that singing is not one of my fortes. I love good music but I cannot produce it save my life. I’m rather self-conscious about it and I can’t wait for heaven where I am fully expecting brand-new glorified vocal cords. At any rate, on Father’s Day our music director often asks all the men of the church to participate in an all-male special music ensemble. I usually decline because, well, that’s just not my gift and I don’t want to embarrass myself up there. I normally get a lot of kidding about not participating but I can be pretty stubborn. So, I was sitting there, watching the men begin to practice, when lo and behold up marches Jim Gibby, oxygen tank and all. Well, I think to myself, if Jim Gibby can get up there and sing, then I suppose I can, too. So, up I went. I’m not sure the group was better for it, but I probably was.

Jim also had a way of handing out compliments. This past year we broke up our one big adult SS class held in the auditorium into several smaller adult classes. Jim came to my class and half way through our first series he said, “you know when I first came to your class I thought it was going to be pretty boring but instead it turned out to be not so bad.” Thanks, Jim, I think.

As our Pastor said in an e-mail to our church family, “Jim is now beholding the glory of the Lord and breathing in celestial air. No more struggle.” I will miss him and our church will miss him.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15


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