Summary: 4 Saddest Words ever spoken in the history of mankind: "Adam where are you?"
“THE TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN”
Funeral for a guy named Joe
Aug. 8, 2009
This is a Funeral Sermon I preached for a Hospice Patient.
Most of you don’t know me. My name is Randy Trotter, Pastor of Lighthouse Worship Center in Beaumont and Chaplain of Professional Hospice of Beaumont. I met Joe not long ago after he came on our service as his Hospice Chaplain. Being a Hospice Chaplain affords me the opportunity to meet many people all unique in their own way. Some of those people are pleasant to be around others are pleasant not to be around. But all are interesting, to say the least. They all have one thing in common. THEY ARE ALL DYING!
But some of the people I meet, find a real special place in my heart real fast, quick and without hesitation or even invitation. Joe was one of those to me. He just invited himself into my heart and into my life. I’ve only had a few other people since I started in Hospice Ministry like that & Joe was one of them!
Some of them have been like a grandparent to me, but Joe was a friend to me. He became a friend whom I enjoyed visiting time & time again. I felt I could just visit with him for hours & sometimes did! I actually looked for reasons to go see Joe & Frances. I kept hanging around thinking & hoping Frances would get up & fix that famous Round Steak I’ve heard so much about!
“BOTH” of these people are & were just precious to all of us at Professional Hospice. But “YOU” already know that! I’ll miss the conversations we had about God & how God changed Joe’s life so radically. He would be telling me about it & I’d look over at Frances & she’d have those eyes looking at me & shaking her head up & down pretty dramatically but she wouldn’t let Joe see her doing it!
I’d just smile, not only because it was humorous but because IT JUST WENT TO SHOW HOW MUCH GOD HAD CHANGED JOE!
Whenever I walk into a home to meet a family & patient for the first time I always qualify myself by stating that I have a “PASSION FOR SOULS” and I, somewhat bluntly, ASK THEM IF THEIR “HEART IS RIGHT WITH GOD” & IF SO EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT THAT MEANS TO YOU!
I did the same with Joe. That BIG SMILE EXPLODED across his face as he told me he was saved! I could see it in his face, his eyes, and hear it in his words, his conversation! You can tell when someone is genuine especially a Child of God!
He shared with me how he’d lived his life till Jesus got a hold of him. How he used to drink & be so hard to live with and get along with. Sometimes in the midst of the disease and the frustration that comes with it, that “OLD MAN”, the scriptures speak of would slip out just a little bit. But Frances, the loving person I’ve come to know, would diffuse the situation with a soft word.
Joe worried about his children to me often. Let me tell you children something about your dad! HE NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU! HE NEVER STOPPED CARING ABOUT YOU! AND HE NEVER STOPPED PRAYING FOR YOU! I KNOW! LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING! I’M A DAD & SOMETIMES MY LOVE IS MISUNDERSTOOD! BUT KNOW THIS HE LOVED YOU DEARLY!
Nearly every time I visited he’d bring up his children to me. He’d tell how much he felt that HE HAD “FAILED” YOU BY NOT GETTING RIGHT WITH JESUS SOONER! HE FELT “GUILT” OVER NOT RAISING YOU IN CHURCH LIKE HE SAID HE SHOULD HAVE! HE ASKED ME MANY TIMES TO “PRAY FOR YOU” BECAUSE HE CARED SO MUCH FOR “YOUR SALVATION!”
I pray for the patients & family every time I make a visit with them before I leave. But it would never fail that Joe would always ask me pray for & with him & Frances & for his Children & grandchildren! The “TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN!”
Those of you who have been by know that they have this huge beagle who when he walks across the floor drags his nails and rubs his nose against you. Joe would shout at the dog to get away & go back to his place. And then there is this scruffy dog that just “ADOPTED” Joe & Frances. Joe hated that dog. He would come to the door and look in while I was there and I’d see Joe glare at that dog like “IF I COULD I’D GET A GUN AND...!” WELL YOU KNOW!
Joe loved his family. I talked to his sister Virginia and she told me that one time when they were having some difficulties during Christmastime that they didn’t have a Christmas Tree. Joe went out in the driving rain, found a Christmas Tree, cut it down & brought it home to her soaking wet, but he made sure she had a tree! The “TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN!”