There once was a humble electrician who loved God and who had a profound effect on my life. His name was Uncle Jack. Married to Aunt Joy, my mother’s older sister, Uncle Jack spoke few words. His actions spoke the Library of Congress. He worked hard and steady as an electrician and devoted his free time to family and church. A wise and simple man, not excitable by any stretch. Some–though they would be wrong–might go so far as to think him boring. I never believed that for a second. Unpretentious, yes, but boring? Not to me. I always considered him to be fascinating.
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. It was a good home, just not a Christian one. Uncle Jack was different. I watched him–how he talked, how he walked, how he prayed, and the gentle peace that always seemed to surround him. I knew I wanted that for myself, but I wasn’t in his league, not even close. To this day, years after I accepted Christ– thanks in large measure to Uncle Jack’s living testimony–I aspire to be the kind of man he was, yet have far to go.
Thank you Uncle Jack for the depth of your character, for your faith, for helping me with my shop project in 7th grade; and thank You God, for bringing this man after Your own heart into my life. Uncle Jack passed away this week. He’s now reunited with Aunt Joy and with Jesus. The beautiful symmetry of a humble electrician from Florida meeting face to face with the humble carpenter from Galilee hasn’t escaped my notice. I can see Uncle Jack now, big smile on his face, and with rising inflection repeating a favorite phrase–a drawn out and amiable “My goodness!” He sure got that right. There was a goodness about him.
When I read the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, it’s easy to picture Uncle Jack on every count: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Uncle Jack wasn’t a big man physically, but spiritually, he was a giant in our midst.
Although he will be missed, I feel deep satisfaction when I think of all the wonders Uncle Jack is now experiencing. I’m sure he keeps exclaiming at every turn, “My goodness!” And I am sure he is delighting in his reunion. I can’t wait for mine.
I hope this encourages you today.
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