On The Day Of Billy’s Funeral (Leighton Ford)
“The heavens are telling the glory of God …”
Psalm 19. The Lectionary reading for the day.
I have been thinking much about him these days,
the earthly part of him,
that long, lithe frame,
lying in a pinewood box.
I’ve been picturing him as he was,
standing tall, confident, humble,
with those piercing blue eyes,
those well-groomed hands clutching his Bible,
jabbing them out to make a point,
lifting them up in a gesture that said,
“Come. Come now.”
A distant relative of his, an artist, reflects,
“He looked as if he knew something,
something he had to share.”
He did that.
Now he lies still.
Nearly a hundred years ago
the breath of life came into him,
as later the words of life came through him,
as clear as the whistle of a train
across miles on an early morning,
with a hint of thunder.
Today that breath is all breathed out.
His voice is silent.
In the Psalms for today I read that
“The heavens are declaring the glory of God.”
They are not silent.
Neither are the stones, which Jesus said
would cry out if his disciples didn’t
announce his kingdom.
They will not be silent.
How can we?
I can hear another voice saying
“It’s your turn. Lift up your voice.
A hundred of you, a thousand, a million of you.
Lift up your voice and say,
‘The Lord reigns.’
Lift up your voice and sing,
‘To God be the glory, great things he has done.’”
And could that be his voice I hear, from not far off?
Singing, as he never could before,
with his true and lasting voice:
“Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the nations rejoice.
O, come to the Father,
through Jesus the Son,
and give Him the glory,
great things he has done.”
March 2, 2018