I had thought about opening my remarks with the comment “another loss”. Brother Bud Gillett made his journey to heaven this past Sunday. We have known each other for 50 years. I was thinking that now I have lost another person that is so dear to me. Then I was reminded in my devotional time that I have lost nothing.
The fact is that my Brother Bud just got ahead of me and has entered eternity with Jesus and I will be reunited with him and it will not be long as I have reached the ripe old age of 70. In the past few months in addition to Brother Bud I have witnessed the passing from this life of Bob Gregory, a brother who provided me a job and a place to live when I was released from prison nearly 30 years ago.
And then I lost Brother Ray Geisel the founder of Christian 12 Step Ministry, the ministry where God has placed me to serve. Brother Ray challenged me to come out of retirement and join the staff at Christian 12 Step. The news came following his passing of grandma Mary at Dunklin making her journey to heaven.
A few months another of my dearest brothers, Brother Mickey Evans, founder of Dunklin was called to his heavenly home. Brother Mickey was the greatest example of Jesus that I have ever known. He was the reference of unconditional love to literally thousands of men who graduated from the faith based recovery program at Dunklin.
Soon after Brother Mickey’s passing my dear Aunt Julia who became my mother after the passing of my mother in 1983. Aunt Julia was 3 weeks away from her 99th birthday. She and my Uncle had 4 girls and she said to me many times that I was the son she never had. Uncle E. E., as he was fondly known, and Aunt Julia were consistently showering me with encouraging words inspiring me to fulfill the call God had placed on my life.
And now Brother Bud, one of the most caring and loving individuals I have ever known, made his departure to the streets of Glory. In my time of crying out to God for comfort He gently reminded me that I have lost no one. Brother Bob Gregory, Brother Ray Geisel, Grandma Mary, Brother Mickey, Aunt Julia, and Brother Bud are now at home having entered heaven and seeing Jesus face to face.
It is the same home Jesus stated that He has prepared for me and for everyone who trust Him as Savior. In days, weeks, months, or years will pass and I too will be reunited with each of these. I will be privileged to spend Eternity with Jesus and reunited with those I was tempted to say “I have lost” but it was not a loss. It was a temporary separation.
It is only when we forget that we are aliens in a foreign land and fail to focus our attention on an Eternity with Jesus that we need to be reminded that we are headed home and some have gotten ahead of us. There was a glorious day this past Sunday when my brother, William A. “Bud” Gillett entered his eternal home to be reunited with his mother, his dad, Velma’s mother and dad, my mother and dad, and a host of others.
Then he was privileged to gaze upon a large host of folks gathered to welcome him and they placed on his head a crown of thanks for having been the person God sent to earth decades ago to share the gospel with them that they might be saved. Bud is now singing but changing a few words, “When I got to heaven, It was a day, glorious day for me, and when I saw Jesus I cried out and shouted what a victory”. And then he sang as never before, “IT IS WELL,IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL”.