Friday, May 30, 2008

500 people. All lifting their voices up to the Lord. That was how the funeral for Gary and Kim began on Wednesday.

It was a packed house. We had the service at the Methodist church because it's so much bigger than the church where The Colonel's dad preaches...and we packed it out anyway. All the pews were crammed full, and people still had to sit in the overflow section.

We walked in together, as a family, after everyone else was seated. The minister welcomed everyone, and then we sang the first song. As soon as I heard all those wonderful voices, I got choked up and I couldn't sing it myself. All those people were there to honor Gary and Kim and to show their support to us. Wow!

It was a nice service. Gary and Kim's preacher from Colorado spoke, and he told us about all kinds of wonderful things that Gary and Kim did to show Christ's love. Some of the things he said were new to me, but definitely believable. The Colonel's youngest brother (Jayme's husband) got up and led a song, Blessed Be the Name. It's one of my favorite worship songs and one I've heard a hundred times on the radio, but it hit me differently this time. I have no idea how Neal had enough strength to lead the song with such a strong clear voice, but he did, and it was great.

These are the lyrics to the song:

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say…
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say…
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name



"You give and take away" - isn't that the truth? But BLESSED BE HIS NAME...there is a plan, and good will come out of our sadness.

After the service ended, it took an hour and a half for everyone to greet the family. That's how many people were there. Friends, family, co-workers, community leaders...they were all there. Then it was on to my FIL's church where they prepared a wonderful lunch for us. We had to rush a bit because we had to be at the cemetery by 2, and it was over an hour drive...right past the scene of the tornado, where the car was still sitting in the wheat field.

We all slowed as we passed what remained of the car. You could see exactly where the tornado had come through, and as Jayme said, it was absolutely not an accident. If G&K would have been just 100 yards further east or west, they would have been spared. But, God had them in the exact spot where He wanted them to be.

In the drizzle and fog, we said to goodbye to Gary and Kim. Three of the Uncles led the service, and they helped us to say goodbye for the final time. I hope that G&K could see all the love poured out for them and for us over the last week, and I hope that they know that we love and miss them immensely.

6 comments:

Char said...

Thank you for sharing this, especially for those of us who were just too far away to be there. Hugs to you today...

Jayme said...

I will never again be able to sing that song without thinking about Kim and Gary. It WAS a great service.

I miss you today. :)

Rachel O said...

It WAS a great service.

I'm glad I got to meet you in person, I just wish it could have been on a happy occasion.

Joyce said...

I have been blessed by reading your posts. Thanks!

Agnes said...

I love you! I don't know what else to say right now.

Rach said...

Oh that song! I don't know if I would have been able to sing even one word. That song is so powerful. I remember being pregnant with my son and my husband was leading worship one week. He introduced that song to the congregation and I got choked up on the "You give and take away" line. I was overwhelmed with the joy of what God was giving us, but keenly aware that He could, at any time, take such an amazing blessing away. Every time I sing that song, I think of that...and get choked up.
Thanks for this post.