3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: funeral for elderly lady who was a member of the church for 74 years

On behalf of the family, I would like thank all that are here today, as we come to celebrate the life of Thelma Waggle and recognize all that she has meant to us and done for us…..as well as celebrate her eternal inheritance that was given to her when she accepted the eternal promise of Jesus Christ our Lord and to praise God for His goodness and faithfulness.

As I have prayed and sought God’s guidance this week…one word kept coming into my mind....and though there are accolades and tributes that we could express towards Ms. Thelma, the one word which I felt reflected her life was wholehearted. I had originally thought I would use Proverbs 31 and the scriptures relating to the life of a virtuous woman to celebrate Ms. Thelma’s life. Now, we all know that she exhibited and LIVED all of the characteristics of a faithful wife and virtuous woman. But somehow it just seemed to fall short of what I knew and each of you knows about the life and service of Mrs. Thelma Waggle.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word wholehearted as “completely and sincerely devoted…. determined…… marked by complete and earnest commitment and finally…free from hesitation. The Thelma Waggle we knew and loved was indeed completely devoted to her family and to her service to God. From that day 76 years ago that she joined Harmony United Methodist Church and from that day 72 years ago that she said “I do” to Mr. Herman Waggle she never wavered in her commitment to either.

My first introduction to Mrs. Waggle was as a member of Harmony UMC. I believe she was still serving as Church Secretary and Treasurer. What immediately impressed me about Mrs. Waggle was that she was the source of answers for our church…If you had a question about the church…Mrs. Waggle usually had the answer. Those answers came from her wholehearted study and dedication to the Holy Word of God and the by-laws of her church known as the Book of Discipline.

God’s churches, denominationally across the board, have been and are continuing to be held together by women such as Mrs. Waggle; women that wholeheartedly take on any task or level of service to keep the doors open and our hearts reaching out to others. Mrs. Waggle actively mentored to our youth when they were overflowing in our rural church….It’s not surprising that is why so many of you are here today. You being here is a testimony to the role she played in developing and maturing all of us as both a Christian and as a person. But her service did not stop there, it continued into the times when all the youth where gone and moved away. When all that was left were the older members and the church faced times when it could barely pay the bills to keep the doors open. A life completely and sincerely devoted to her church both in the good times and the rough times.

Mrs. Waggle’s wholehearted dedication to her family was as obvious as her dedication to the church. Her marriage of 72 years to Mr. Herman is the dreams that fairy tales are made of. I am not saying it was perfect or easy, but I am saying that you could actually see their wholehearted devotion to each other. From the way they looked at each other to the way they helped each other, their relationship was the result of being completely and earnestly dedicated to one another. But that commitment extended far beyond each other and into the lives of their family and friends. As I have visited with Mr. Waggle this week, I don’t think an hour has gone by that a family member was not present and/or someone wasn’t calling on the phone. What a special relationship they created with their siblings and that extended into the lives of their many nieces, nephews and their families.

It is at times such as this that we are sure that no one else as ever experienced the pain and loneliness that we feel. That no one understands what we are going through. Although it is true that no one knows exactly how we feel or how we will deal with the passing of Mrs. Waggle, it is also true that we all have experienced the devastation of the loss of a loved one.

The experience of one such person is recorded in the Bible in the book of Job. Job had it all, he had ten children, fields of livestock, an abundance of land, a houseful of servants, and a substantial amount of wealth in every aspect of life. And then, without warning, like an avalanche, adversity struck. He lost his livestock, crops, land, servants, and if you can believe it all ten of his children.

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