“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” God
Often in memory of somebody who has departed from this world we only focus on the flowery positive. Just look at the last sentence to see how it is constructed. I could have said, “When a person dies we always say nice things.”
I was not Leon Gobold’s friend at least not a close one. He and I belong to the Church of Christ. Leon was a preacher of sorts and would sometimes visit the congregations I belonged to. Other times I would visit the congregation that he belonged to. He knew my name and always seemed happy to see me. We would sometimes chat about things.
My most positive memory of Leon was a story of his life he told when he was preaching. Leon as a young man picked cotton in the south. I believe his whole family engaged in the activity. Leon wanted to get a bike. His dad promised Leon that if he could pick a hundred pounds of cotton in a day that he would buy him the bike. Excited Leon arose early with the new day’s sun and began to enthusiastically pick his cotton. He picked all throughout the hot day and finally retired in the evening with a sack full of cotton. When it was weighed Leon only had seventy pounds of cotton, he had failed at this task. Leon’s dad however intervened. “Leon, I know you did your best so I am going to buy you the bike any way.” The analogy was then made about the grace of God. How we fail to live up to what God wants but what we give is accepted any way, as long as you try your best.
Every death brings with it a good heaping measure of tragedy. I had the unfortunate task of informing two of Leon’s friends about his passing. I found out by the internet and it was confirmed by another friend. I thought it best to tell these two individuals that Leon had passed. Both of my friends were older and had know Leon quite longer and better than I had. Of course Leon’s wife and family are suffering greatly as well.
Some deaths bring a measure of relief. Leon was suffering and he had been using a wheel chair. I heard reports that Leon’s health was failing. Still when he passed it was still a shock. It is good to know that Leon is not suffering on this world anymore. That for a moment he is free from his physical pain and misery, to await judgment by the Lord.
As with anything that happens in life we should learn the lessons that are in the moment. Some questions arise. What would be my fate if I died tonight? What would my legacy be? But questions are not enough, but rather we must apply the answers to our life. If we do we bring more substance to the passing of Leon Gobold.
So the book of life on Leon Gobold has been temporarily put on the shelf. It is a library that is immense in size. If I can say anything about Leon Gobold is that he believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I think that is a fitting thing to say at this moment.
I have written a poetic book about death called “Sunset Sonnets”. It looks at death in a spiritual and healthy way. http://amzn.to/2C6eJoI