A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's Been a Good Life. I Can't Complain.

Bill and Dorothy were wonderful people. They were in their eighties and I was their young associate pastor. I enjoyed visiting with them. They were extremely friendly and hospitable; and they were good conversationalists. It was clear to me how much they loved each other and that they were each other's best friends. Bill would talk about his North Carolina roots and how he was willing to leave the South to move north to Ohio to be with his Dorothy. Dorothy spoke about Bill and his loving and gentle ways. It was always a joy and a privilege to be with them.

One morning while I was in the office, I received word that Dorothy had died sometime the night before. I immediately called Bill to make plans to see him. When he answered the phone, I told him how sorry I was about Dorothy. Bill responded in his usual calm and deep voice with a mild southern accent-- "Well, it's been a good life. I can't complain."

I did Dorothy's funeral a few days later. Six months later I officiated at Bill's service. I spoke of the importance of gratitude to God for the goodness of life, even with all of its difficulties and disappointments, and that at the end of his life, a grateful Bill could say upon the death of his beloved wife, "It's been a good life. I can't complain."

When I get to the end of my days, I hope that I can utter the same words; and only in a spirit of gratitude to God can such words be said in all sincerity.

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