Thursday, June 25, 2009

A life quickly passed

I worked with a man named Bobby in the ACTS ministry. And I will be honest in saying that I didn't know him too well. I never really had a conversation with him. But I knew who he was, I knew he had been homeless about 3 years ago. I knew that he started coming to ACTS as a guest and found Jesus along the way. I knew he came back to ACTS to volunteer to spread the love of Jesus to other homeless people.

Today, I attended Bobby's funeral. Last week, I received an email from someone at Central telling me that Bobby passed away. My heart instantly fell. He was 36, I think. Died of a heart attack.

And like I said, I didn't know him, but out of respect for him I felt I needed to attend his funeral.

Funerals are never good, but today, today was different. There were a lot of tears, but honestly, there seemed to be more laughter. Because as someone put it, we came to celebrate the life of Bobby. Some of his family and friends spoke. They all said the same thing, Bobby was one ornery man and how each of them learned various things like patience, forgiveness, and grace from this man. They all told funny stories about him and through tears, they all shared how much he loved everyone. How amazing he truly was.

He's always had heart problems and came to ACTS over three years ago broken and beaten. He had just had heart surgery and was addicted to Crystal Meth. Through two ladies, who took the time to love him, pray for him, he managed to get his life together and get off of drugs. He surrendered his life to Jesus and was baptized just over two years ago. One of the ladies spoke how he loved to talk about Jesus to people, he loved to invite them to church.

During the entire service, I wondered about his family. I didn't know any of them and wasn't sure if any of them were believers. They spoke about how they tried to help him, but he wasn't ready for help. But then came to ACTS and got help from the ministry. As people spoke about his love for Jesus, I couldn't help wonder if his decision to follow Christ impacted his family. Are they following God because of him? Did they all think he was crazy for following God? I honestly don't know.

I am not normally an emotional person and I have gotten pretty good about keeping it together at funerals. But, they showed his baptism video. There were many family members who hadn't seen Bobby in many years and today watching his baptism, was the first time in a long time they had seen him. I think it made it more real and watching his baptism and that is what brought the tears on, not just with me. I believe the entire chapel was crying. It was noted that after he was baptized, he actually received a standing ovation that day.

When they asked him if he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, his response was, "You betcha."

I could only pray that his faith in Jesus made an impact on his family. And if they didn't follow Christ, they decide to after watching that amazing baptism.

He will be missed here on Earth. I already felt the void of him being gone this past Saturday at ACTS. But, I'm kind of jealous of Bobby right now, he's in Heaven, living the good life with Jesus.

Hopefully when his family passes away, they will be right up there with him.

Quote of the day: "How blessed I am to have known someone who it was so hard to say goodbye to."

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