Summary: This message was preached for a suicide victim to hopefully comfort the husband and young son.
Memorial Service for Lia Jean Barton
Good afternoon. I want to thank each of you for being here today to comfort this family. Your presence means a lot to this family and so do your prayers. I am David Henderson and I pastor Eagle's Landing Church her in Port Richey.
Psalm 22:1-11 (Living) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why do you refuse to help me or even to listen to my groans?  Day and night I keep on weeping, crying for your help, but there is no reply--  for you are holy. The praises of our fathers surrounded your throne; they trusted you and you delivered them.   You heard their cries for help and saved them; they were never disappointed when they sought your aid.
 Lord, how you have helped me before!  You took me safely from my mother's womb and brought me through the years of infancy.  I have depended upon you since birth; you have always been my God. Don't leave me now, for trouble is near and no one else can possibly help.
Prayer. Heavenly Father we come to you today because we know that you alone can help us because you understand everything that we feel today and everything this family is experiencing. You are a God who has feelings….the scripture tells us you love us, the scripture reminds us that you have experienced every feeling we have and so we know that you understand today. Heavenly Father today we all grieve. We ask for your comfort and peace to be with this family and also with each of these friends who are here today. Give them understanding that grows each day, give them a greater trust in you and grant each one your peace and hope. In Jesus name. Amen.
About 20 years ago we were living in KY and decided to take a family vacation there and some of the state we had not seen. One of the places we went to was mammoth cave. We took a tour that lasted an hour or so. When we first went in the tour guide was holding a candle. It wasn=t very large but it provided enough light for us to be able to see. He told us to gather close together because the lights were about to go out. He then blew the candle out and it was the darkest place I had ever been. He said now hold your hand up in front of your face….none of us could see it. My 2 youngest children were 4 and 6 at the time...one was standing on 1 side of me and 1 on the other and the first thing I felt was 2 little hands grab mine.
When we lose someone we love it is though the lights go out. For a few moments we cannot see clearly…..we are in the dark….it is as though time stands still and we need a hand to hold on to. There is a certain denial that sets in because we just cannot believe it. And sometimes it takes a while before the darkness goes away. Jesus tells us in the New Testament that He is the Light of the World. Listen to what the scripture says about this light.
John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 12:46 (NIV) I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
For Lia Jean Barton, she had some struggles in her life. All of us do. And the things that have happened in recent days do not describe all that she was in her lifetime. She had many good things in her life and we need to remember those today. She had a husband, Richard who loved her very much. Her son, William, 11 years of age who she loved and was very proud of. She will be deeply missed by all of her family as well as her friends.
Today we want to celebrate the life that Lia lived. We want to remember who she was in those moments. She and Richard started dating when they were 15. They married at 19 and have been together ever since. They waited ten years and then had their only son, William.
Lia was know for a number of things. She had a beautiful smile that will always be remembered. A laugh that was contagious. She was funny. She also was direct... to the point. She would tell you what was on her heart. If she liked you she would let you know ..... if she didn’t....well. :) She liked to stay busy. She had different interests that occupied some of her time. On Facebook she posted numerous interests ... Marilyn Monroe, Dr. Phil, she enjoyed learning about new things, she loved the beach, especially Siesta Key, she enjoyed cooking ... she had a gift of hospitality .... taking care of people. She also really liked to travel when they had the opportunity. Richard told me that if they had the resources they would probably have traveled all the time.