Nothing left unsaid


By the Rev. Ben Hunt - Your pastor speaks



“For this is love; that we would obey the things that our Father has taught us.” 2 John 1:6(a)

This past weekend, our neighborhood in South Sidney was robbed of yet another precious life; a future, and promise, snuffed out so unexpectedly in just a few seconds of time.

I know that there are many young people and adults from throughout Sidney who are struggling with this loss; many have spoken to me. And so I humbly offer some 58-year old wisdom from the road today; some hopefully simple, helpful thoughts for us all to consider as we travel on in this oh, so temporary life.

My Dad passed away in 1994, but his life left an indelible impression upon everyone he met. I remember that he spoke of Christ in a way that I hadn’t heard others speak of Him. He was familiar with Him. He had a living, breathing, growing relationship with Jesus. Many other people that I met as a boy had “religion” or “church,” but my Dad had been given a new life by Christ, one about which he was thrilled, and he would tell you so.

My Dad was strong, yet gentle. He was easy-going, but deep. He was humble, but profoundly wise. My Dad and I were aware of it when we had our last telephone conversation before his passing; he was in Ohio, and I was in California. He had told me that – though he obviously didn’t know if it would be weeks or months – he sensed that his passing was coming, and so we shared our love with one another one more time, just in case it came quickly (and it did).

I remember that at one point after the conversation had gone on for some time that there was a pause, and I had a dramatic revelation. I realized that there was a pause because my Dad and I had spoken all the words that we were supposed to speak to each other in this life. What a gift I was given in that regard. There was nothing left unsaid or undone between my Dad and I. It was all out there, spoken, shared, experienced. I encourage each one of you today, as we ponder yet another unexpected loss of a young person in our community, to do the same.

If you love someone, if they’ve been special in your life, tell them so. Tell them today, because tomorrow you may not have the opportunity to do so. I encourage you to do this because – while I miss my Dad – I have never felt that there was something that I wish I could go back and say to him. I realize that this is a tremendous blessing from God. So my Dad and I paused, knowing that the end of our words had come, that our parting was at hand, and only then did my Dad speak his last words to me.

I knew they would be the last words of a man who had lived a life unrivaled in my eyes, words with which he specifically wanted to leave me.

“Son?” he said. “Yes, Dad?” “Walk with Jesus, son.” “I will, Dad.” “I’ll see you there, son.” “I’ll see you there, Dad.” So concluded all of our words, not with an unnecessarily final “good-bye,” not with a “period” at the end of our sentences. The two of us, together as one, ended a lifetime of sentences as they should have been; with a presently loving, eternally hopeful, comma.

My Dad had told me while he was still living that, if I was to ever wonder how I could best honor his memory, it would be by seeking to live the things that God had used him to teach me. I’m giving it my best, Dad; I’m doing my level best to obey You and to love people, Heavenly Father. I encourage you to do the same, friends; pray for the family of this young person who has passed away, and then purpose, today and every precious day, to tell and show both God and those special ones around you that you love them, and that you believe in them.

“For this is love; that we would obey the things that our Father has taught us.” 2 John 1:6(a)

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By the Rev. Ben Hunt

Your pastor speaks

The writer is a bishop in The International Church Network, a network of 400-500 churches in North America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

The writer is a bishop in The International Church Network, a network of 400-500 churches in North America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.