Summary: This is a sermon eulogy for a man who was not in Christ but members of his family were.
Eulogy Leslie Gordon Fields 3/21/2002.hb
Leslie Gordon Fields, a son, brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, and co worker. He was born, he lived, he died, he went home to a place prepared for him. We all go through that cycle of birth, life, and death because its automatic. Yet it takes a willful decision on our parts to go home to place prepared for us.
For those who remain on this side of death, the Bible tells us, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. A time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to hope and a time to give up, a time for joy and a time for pain, a time to be born and a time to die. The one experience that is common to us all is death. It is as common and as natural as all the other things done under the sun.
The Scriptures tell us that there is a way that seems right to a person, but at the end of it is death. If we are all living in order that we might some day die, it should be of utmost important that we live in such way that in the end our lives would not have been lived in vain. Whether or not we have lived in vain will not be determined by how much we accumulated in terms of material goods, for naked we came into this world, and naked we go out.
The only thing that we can take out of this world is what we have given away. For that is how Jesus said to lay up treasures in heaven. If we have not loved and have not given then our living has been in vain. I did not know Leslie, or Les as he loved to be called, but I did get a glimpse of him and his life through his brother Frank and his sister Marie.
God sends everybody into the world with a gift to offer to the rest of humanity. Sometimes we do not appreciate the gifts and the struggles of others. Les too came into this world with a gift, but much of his early life began with a struggle. As a young boy he was stricken with an illness which left him with crutches and braces on his legs.
When adversity comes into our lives, we can either go into our own little shell of a world, or we can choose to face life and overcome it despite what has come into our lives. When someone gives you a lemon, you can either frown because of its bitter taste, or you can choose to make some lemonade and share it with others. Les chose to make some lemonade. As a young boy, he didn’t allow his handicap to keep him from his love of sports. No, he couldn’t play centerfield, but he was able to be the pitcher with the other boys.
Frank said his brother did not dwell on what he could not do, but rather on what he could do. His sister said, her brother would be on his crutches but he still would open the door for the ladies and say “ladies first” as he held the door for them to go through. Les also learned to sew. He even sewed some of Marie’s skirts for her.
His determination to go forward in life led to his legs becoming stronger and the braces were eventually no longer needed. Les had a passion to go out and be with others. His limitations were not going to limit him in his desire to go out and be in the presence of other people. He attempted to be as independent as he could in doing things for himself. He even took the time to neatly fold his clothes all the way down to his socks and underwear. He took pride in his appearance.
Les strove to become independent not only in his body but also in his mind. Les had a very keen mind, and he was eager to use it. No one will ever say, “Les was so easy to get along with and he would compromise with you in a minute.”
Frank said, “Les could have a comment on just about anything. Not only did he have an informed comment, as far as he was concerned it was the right comment. Now some would say he was stubborn and insisted on being right, but Les would probably say, he was simply a man of strong conviction and willing to stand for the truth as he saw it.
When it came to sports, Les loved watching them on TV and he loved being right on his interpretation of what was going on. He could tell you which championship games were on the level, and which ones had been fixed. Les was convinced he had a little more information on the subject than those watching the game with him had.