Today is Veterans’ Day in the US, a time when we give honor to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. At the rest home today, I took my guitar and sang an old favorite of mine from the 1960s, Ramblin’ Boy by Tom Paxton. In this song he tells about his lifelong friend whom he loses in the Viet Nam War. The I following is more of a poetic eulogy for a dear friend and spiritual brother who passed away in 2006. He was a twenty year veteran of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I tried to tell the story of his physical and spiritual struggles as he battled this debilitating disease which I shared at his funeral.
My Dear Brother Arnold
Arnold, my brother, you’re a stronger man than I
With your crippled hands and a spirit that refuses to die.
You’ve watched your body waste away
But claimed your inner man was renewed day by day.
You struggled with pain, but refused to give in.
Some days were hell, but others you would win.
You cared for Lucille and did what you could.
Your children helped, but no one really understood.
For twenty years you felt the pain
And prayed for healing in Jesus name.
Through the pain you proclaimed belief in God
That your healing would come, against all odds.
Now you’re free, no more pain to endure
Your healing has come, that’s for sure!
No more hell for you to face,
No more struggle to keep your pace
No more wondering, “Why Me Lord?”
Now you know what you were living for.
As you rest in His Amazing Grace,
In the arms of Jesus you’re embraced
Live forever in His Healing Grace.
Feel His touch and rise above
All earthly pain into his love
To live with him forever move.
That’s what you were living for!!!
Arnold my Brother, you’re a better man than I
Your strength and courage will never die.
You knew the meaning of endurance…
Now you know with all assurance
Rest in the peace and love of our Lord Jesus.
Jude 24-25 Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before his glorious presence with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever more. Amen KJV