Apples on a Silver Platter

Bro Bob Norman with Ritchie Hale

Bro Bob Norman with Ritchie Hale

Though most of us would rather not attend funerals; the funeral home is often the place where reunions occur.  This was the case for me last week when I attended the services for a friend, Bro. R.B. Precious friends and family members spent the time catching up with memories of days gone by as we laughed and cried together.  The occassion was to celebrate the life of our friend who had passed away, but in so doing, the gathering had an almost surreal atmosphere of joy mingled with sorrow. Though many of the people who came to visit didn’t know each other, we were all bonded together because of our shared grief of this precious loved one.
A young lady, who I didn’t recognize, came to me during the evening.  She wanted to tell me what a difference I had made in her life when she was just a teenager.  I was astounded.  I couldn’t even think of her name, or how I had known her until she filled me in on the details and I realized who she was and how our lives had intersected so long ago.  What a joyful reunion.  I had NO IDEA that my life had meant anything to her life.  

As I saw one after another of the friends I had known since my teen years, one in particular , Bro Bob, was such a joy to my heart.  I met him and his wife, Elaine, at a pivotal point during my teen years.  As I stood talking to him, it occurred to me that I may not have ever told them how much they had influenced my life, what they had meant to me as a teen, and how they continue to bless my life as an adult. 
Often times we want to say something, but then we don’t.  For whatever reason, we hold back and  the opportunity passes us by.  Here I was standing at a funeral home with a visual at the front of the room that life is brief, and opportunities will not always present themselves “later”.  So why not speak now.  I spoke up then, and I do so here today as a reminder that there are others to whom I owe a word of gratitude. These two dear friends gave of themselves sacrificially to me, a young teenage girl. That gift of love, encouragement, guidance, godly counsel, patience, and acceptance made a difference in my life. That young lady who had spoken to me earlier during the evening said I had made a difference in her life, and in so saying, her words of thanks touched my life.  The gift of gratitude is an on-going, unending gift. She could not have known that just that very day I was feeling a bit like a used-up, “over-the-hill” retiree, wondering what I had done that was in anyway worthwhile. She couldn’t have known that her simple words went to my heart and whispered, “keep at it, it’s worthwhile.”  Her words were like the proverb, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver ” (Proverb 25:11NKJV). 

How about you?  Has there been a time when you have thought of someone who has profoundly touched your life…and you’ve told them so?  Or maybe the opportunity passed you by and you wished you had?  It’s not too late to take action today and share a simple thanks.


2 responses to this post.

  1. What an eloquent tribute to this godly man.


  2. I’m so glad I was able to be there too. It was hard to see so many special people hurting, but actually really neat to see so many special people from over the years!


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