I was visiting with the many people who came through at my father-in-law's visitation last Wednesday night. The encouragement I had received from brothers and sisters in Christ had sustained me and my family, and I was feeling very blessed and grateful.
I was speaking with one lady when I said, "I don't know how people without a community of faith make it during times like this." She leaned over to me and with a smile whispered, "Vodka."
I was reminded over and over again over the last few days of just how rich I am. The kindnesses shown by my Decatur church family have been too many to count. The food. The thoughtful words. My elders' being 2nd-milers. People thinking of things we needed before we even realized it. They guys who came over Saturday morning to take care of some chores at my mother-in-law's house. It has blown me away!
But it didn't stop there. The turnout at the graveside in East Texas was incredible! There must have been 200 people there! Of course, my father-in-law had served two churches (Crockett and Groveton) as an elder. Both those churches were within a half hour of the cemetery. I began my ministry in Crockett. So to see loyal friends who waited for a while since we were running late -- it reinvigorated us. Wonderful, wonderful people.
Everyone who participated in the service did incredible jobs. I chose the word "integrity" in shaping my thoughts about my father-in-law. My brother-in-law concluded the service by saying his word for Mr. Jones was "acceptance." How true.
Thank you to everyone who journeyed with us over the past week. Your kindnesses will not be forgotten.