20th February 2019

Walking as Children of Light

“…they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
1 Peter 2:12 (ESV)

I was born four years after my brother. He spent all his working life and retirement in London and was a life-long Anglican. Sadly he died recently, but I was able to have a very brief farewell. Just as I was leaving his bedside, he awoke and we had a short time to say ‘goodbye, till we meet again, and it’s going to be wonderful.’ That was our last conversation as he went to sleep again.

The funeral was divided between a private family cremation in the morning and a service in the afternoon, attended by two hundred and fifty. Thinking back on that day, above all, what I have taken away from that day is the memory of sitting at the kitchen table in my brother’s house between the services, and reading through a great stack of letters from people he had known. His wife said it was just some of them and more arrived in the post as we sat there. They weren’t just little cards of condolence, they were testimonials from people who had taken the time and trouble to express what my brother had meant to them. He’d gone to Cambridge, he had risen to the top in his career in the Civil Service and though the writers acknowledge his intellectual ability, what mattered was not who he was, but how he was. Over and over again the letters spoke of his kindness, his care, his loving encouragement, support and help; together with his integrity, and the contributions he made to their lives personally, in the surrounding community and in his work. This, from a man who had set out each day to simply serve where he could.

Here’s a quote from one person, who having mentioned my brother’s particular contribution to her life, wrote: ‘although a man of extraordinary learning, a historian of note, a highly-placed civil servant, these acts of compassion, kindness, rescue and friendship were done by a man quietly spoken, seemingly reserved and truly honest; an upright man who… cared deeply for his family and his neighbours. I was lucky to be one of them.’

What did I get from scanning over all these responses? It came to me quite forcibly that we have no idea of the impact we make in this world as we make our way through it, till other people are put in a position to express it. Whether it was with his family, his friends, his community, or in his work, my brother consistently expressed the mind of his Saviour and it left a mark on all he knew. May we do the same.

Rest in peace, big brother, your work is done.

And now may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, that we too may shine as lights, bringing glory to our God, now and for evermore.

Study by Hilary Buck

About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes.
Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The House of Friendship
208 High Street

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

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