Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Relay


For a long time I have viewed the life of faith as a relay, 
the baton passed from one generation of believers to the next.

I love the depiction of it from the book of Hebrews, 
where a long list of heroes of faith
(spoiler alert: most of them didn't look all that heroic at the outset!)
is given in chapter eleven,
and then summarized in the final verses :

"Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary,
got their hands on what was promised.  
God had a better plan for us: 
that their faith and our faith would come together
to make one completed whole,
their lives of faith not complete apart from ours."

(Hebrews 11:39-40, The Message)

Then in the next verses, the beginning of chapter twelve, 
the author uses the language of the relay race--
those whose leg has already been run 
cheering the others on until the end.

One of my favorites finished his leg of the race this week.
Bob was one of the most faithful people I have ever met,
running with all his being to the very end
to introduce people near and far to Jesus.
He prayed as though he required it to breathe.
He was one of the founders of our church,
and he loved it fiercely.
He never had physical children, 
but no father ever took his role more seriously
than Bob took his role as a spiritual father
nurturing the next generation of believers.

How I will miss running with him.
But I'm so encouraged to know he sees the finish line
from where he stands cheering the rest of us on.


Deanna said...

Beautifully written dear Tracy. Sounds as tho there is an empty hole in your heart for one so loved.

Bella PA said...

Oh, how heartbreaking for you. I am sorry for your loss. I am so thankful he was such a blessing to you and your family.

Bella PA said...

I'm Becky, but it has me as my hospital job. Ignore : ).

Melissa Mae said...

We are also sad... Love you, Tracy.

Stan at Southtown said...

What a man Bro. Bob was. He did run the race well. A man of spiritual fervor. A man who sought to be in touch with the culture around him. And . . . a man who was willing to do whatever it took to reach new and more people for his master.

Anonymous said...

What a great tribute to Bob, Tracy! He would have been pleased with his memorial service today - it clearly presented the Gospel he loved so much and memories were shared - which is what he requested. He & Racine have been like parents to me since I was a child and he will be greatly missed by this "daughter."


Anonymous said...

Well said Tracy. I too feel the emptiness with Bob gone from this life. He was a spiritual father to me and he will be missed. Committed, faithful, hardworking, and disciplined are a few words that describe Bob. There are some people who provide comfort by their presence in the world even if you don't see them all the time and Bob was that way for me. As soon as I knew he had left us, I felt that void of someone important departing. Enjoy Heaven, Bob, thou good and faithful servant. See you in that glorious place for all who put their trust in Jesus. Till we meet again. ~Jan McGuire