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  • Writer's pictureHilltop UMC

Rev. Randy's Reflections

As I started to write this article for the newsletter, I received word that a close friend passed away. I’ve been processing this information .

Jim made others feel good to be around him. He loved life and loved other people. Behind that sometimes gruff exterior beat an exceedingly warm heart. Jim cared deeply for his family and for his large circle of friends. And I was blessed to be one of them. I know what a treasure he was and what a treasure I've lost.

So today there is sadness in my heart, to be sure, but there is also deep gratitude - gratitude to have known this man, to have loved him and to have been loved by him.

I‘m reminded of a story about comedian Gracie Allen. For years, she and husband George Burns were an inseparable comedy team, in radio and then on TV. On stage, Gracie played a lovable but dim-witted character whose misunderstandings were the stuff of great comedy.

In real life, Gracie was a shrewd businesswoman, a loving wife and - not incidentally - a woman of deep faith. She died young, and George was devastated. Yet before she died, Gracie had left her husband a love note that continued to speak to him for the rest of his long life. It contained these words: "Never place a period where God has placed a comma."

This is the witness of our Christian faith. Death is, as it says in Second Corinthians, "So we aren’t giving up. Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today and gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever."

(2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Message).

"Never place a period where God has placed a comma." Know that, by the grace of Jesus Christ, my friend Jim's life isn't ended but continues, eternally. And by the grace of God someday I will join Jim in God’s eternal kingdom.

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