I Love to Tell the Story

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story, because I know it’s true;
it satisfies my longings as nothing else would do.
I love to tell the story; ’twill be my theme in glory
to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
(ELW #661)

…that is Lyle’s song…and it speaks of his life.

I wrote about Lyle last week.  At that time he was living his last days.  On Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7:30pm, Lyle took his last breath and I had the honor of being there with various members of his family.  I have been at the bedside of other people as they died but this one was different.  As I said last week, Lyle was like a grandpa to Connie and I so to watch him die was not easy.  Lyle was also a great proclaimer of the faith.  He did this through his words but probably more loudly through how he lived.  The quote from St. Francis of Assisi was indeed true for Lyle:  “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.

But I want to share one thing that happened that night; something I will never forget.  At around 7:3opm we knew that the time was close.  One of the kids turned off the light above Lyle’s bed and for the first time in a couple days, Lyle opened his eyes.  That was a powerful moment.  It was like he was taking one more look at us before he went to see Jesus and Gladys (his wife who died in Feb.) again.  A couple minutes later he breathed his last.  Of course their were tears, but it was different.  They were tears who came from people who had hope.  Then one of his daughters summed up what we were feeling…she said, “I feel so at peace.


That was exactly it.  That is the peace that Jesus came to bring; a peace that surpasses all understanding.  It is a peace that we feel when a loved one dies (at least for those whose faith is in Jesus).  It is a peace that tells us not to be afraid.  It is a peace that allows us to say, “See you later.”  The peace that came with the Christ child at Christmas is the very same peace that filled Lyle’s hospital room on Dec. 11.

I am sad that Lyle is gone and I will miss him greatly, but I feel at peace.  Lyle is no longer suffering and Lyle is not gone forever.  He’s gone (physically) from this life, but not from our hearts and minds.  Lyle is not gone forever, but through Christ we will all be reunited again.

May the peace of God that surpasses all understand guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.  And was we live in this peace, let’s join together in praising God always and forever.

See you later, Lyle.