Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

I remember it like yesterday...

The night I learned the names of the three men thrown into the fiery furnace and I never forgot their names again - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, nor whom I learned them from.

Not. Once.

That night, during Easter break from college, I was playing Bible Trivia with my friend J.'s dad and her little brother and little sister. Just me. Somehow I found myself all alone with her family, whom I had just met. I was invited to spend the night; but J. had to leave for a few hours. And I... Can. Be. Shy.

"You  aren't seriously leaving me here with your family... that I. JUST. MET. ??" I pleaded.

"You'll have fun!" she declared. She is like that - always optimistic, always encouraging.

She was right. An hour later I was caught up in a game of Bible Trivia. Becoming more and more giddy with each question I COULD answer. My awkwardness had melted away and I forged relationships that night which have lasted a lifetime.

One being J.'s dad, Bob. 

Over the years I have been a happy recipient of Bob's caring, understanding smile and his intelligence and wisdom peppered every conversation we had. I sat at their dinner table often enough to hear Bob say, "Eat more, you're too skinny." He gave me advice, prayer, understanding and support. And my heart overflows with so many wonderful memories from holidays and occasions too numerous to count with the entire family over the years. 

I am blessed to call  J. a friend. I love her as much today as the day I first met her so many years ago. We stood up at each others weddings, we've carried each other through difficult times, she stood by me when my mom passed away and now it's my turn to stand by her as she grieves.

You see, we lost Bob to cancer this morning. I hate cancer and I don't mind saying that. But Bob loved God with all his heart, he had great faith. He went Home. And although I feel sad at my/her loss, I know he is happy.

He is at peace.

The familiar smile as he watches J. on her wedding day this past summer
I sat at that dinner table a few years back, Harrison was a baby. Bob smiled at me and said, "I don't need to worry about you anymore, you're no longer too skinny." He knew my journey leading to that moment - he knew I was no longer alone. God had given me a husband and a child - my own family. Always the consonant dad, Bob was...

He is survived by a wife, two sons, two daughters, three grandsons, six granddaughters, two daughter-in-laws, two son-in-laws and {not by default} one surrogate/adopted daughter, her husband and sons.

And he is greatly loved.

Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Bob stood firm in a quiet faith. He trusted God as he passed through his own fiery furnace and was delivered, a good and faithful servant, into the loving arms of God.

We'll miss you on this earth, Bob, but we'll see you again in Heaven.


Christina said...

Wow. This is a powerful and beautiful post about a beautiful man. Peace.

Mike said...

Have a great Thanksgiving.

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Unknown said...

I am so sorry for your loss. So deeply sorry. What a beautiful tribute post.

Arizaphale said...

So sad and yet so lovely. Such a wonderful summary of a relationship.

Rose said...

He was a great man and a wonderful father. Over 350 people attended his memorial service - almost twice as many as was expected.

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