Don’s Great Aunt Beryl went to be with Jesus on Father’s Day this year and Don was asked to deliver her eulogy for the funeral. Before I tell you what he and others shared, I must mention his aunt was a woman who never desired to be in the spotlight. In fact, she strongly objected when forced to be the center of attention. She definitely wouldn’t like this post being about her!
At the funeral Don related a story when at age five he stayed with Aunt Beryl and Uncle Erv. He recalled going with them to do their morning chores, returning for breakfast and after breakfast kneeling down with them for a time of prayer! Aunt Beryl’s son David confirmed this time of kneeling for prayer was a part of his everyday life and Beryl continued it until kneeling became too difficult for her as she grew older.
A friend and pastor of a nearby church delivered the sermon for her funeral. Somewhere in the middle of his sermon he told us how he and his family lived in the county where Beryl’s little church was located, and how he had been, (what he called himself) a “hellion”, in his teenage years. Then one day he began to feel badly about the way he was living, and started thinking about God. Within a short period of time he gave his life to Jesus and started coming to Beryl’s church. Soon after his conversion his entire family turned to Jesus and they too began attending the same church. One Sunday after service, while talking with Aunt Beryl, she conveyed how happy she was about his and his family’s salvation, and how she and Erv had knelt and prayed every day (for quite some time) for his family to come to Jesus!
My heart jumped as I realized the man giving her funeral sermon was a direct result of Beryl’s prayers! She may never have desired the spotlight, but it was very clear her prayers effectively brought the light of Jesust into other people’s lives!
As this realization soaked in, I wondered…..who would be standing there preaching this sermon if she hadn’t prayed? And then the pastor interrupted my thoughts with some similar questions….. “Who will step up and be the “Beryl” who knelt and prayed for lost families like mine?” “Who will fill her place of prayer?”