Nothing More Beautiful

Last week I blogged on the passing of my friend, Terry Eden.  Yesterday, I attended Terry's funeral, and it was one of the most touching services I've ever attended.  As the service neared its conclusion, the officiating pastor opened up the floor for anyone who would like to say a word about what Terry meant to them.  You never know what to expect when you do something like that, and I wondered how many would actually have the courage to stand up and speak in front of a packed church.  But one by one they did... 

One elderly lady recalled Terry was always faithful to visit her.  A middle aged man told of how Terry came to pray with him in jail.  A young man described how Terry led him to the Lord.  A middle aged women noted that Terry was always good to check on her elderly parents.  Another middle aged man shared that Terry taught him what it meant to be a godly husband and father.  On and on it went for I'd say close to 30 minutes.

As a pastor myself, it moved me deeply to hear about the lives that Terry had touched, and to hear the obvious affection in the voices of those who spoke of their shepherd and friend.  Here was a man who, by the world's standards, was insignificant - a simple school teacher that (to my knowledge) never pastored a church of more than a few dozen people.  But I will tell you this...  Many a king would give away his kingdom to have a funeral with as many people who genuinely cared about him, as did Terry Eden.

On the drive home from Terry's funeral, a line I recently read in a book came to mind, "There is nothing more beautiful on this earth than the love of a parish for a faithful pastor."