Last Saturday I attended the funeral for my grandfather; Arthur Campbell. It was such an awesome experience, one that will be etched in my memory forever.
It wasn’t a sad occasion at all, but one that was filled with jubilee and celebration of a man who lived ninety one (91) fulfilling years on earth. More importantly a man who surrendered his life totally to God from the age of eighteen (18) and even on his dying bed was still lifting up the name of Jesus.
I don’t have many memories of him because I didn’t get to spend much time with him – mostly because of the long distance he lived from me. This was something I spent so much time moping over since his passing; wishing I had more conversations with him so that he could inspire me with words of wisdom and to truly know what he was like. However that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless I received a shocking revelation on Saturday that really gave me hope.
As I sat there listening to the tributes and memoirs of my grandpa’s life, I realized something really extraordinary! Many of the traits that were described were visible in my dad, my siblings and me – both physically and spiritually!
Grandpa was described as a fiery minister of the Gospel who boldly declared the Word of God wherever he went and he wasn’t afraid to preach about sensitive topics (such as fornication), that other ministers shied away from.
Preaching the Word of God is a deep passion that I have and a calling that I accepted at the age of twenty (20) years old. I remember the very first sermon I preached was entitled “Thou shalt not commit Adultery!” Lol. I remember it as if it was yesterday, and how silent the church got when I stated the topic.
He was a worshipper. Persons testified to the fact that even when He was hunched over because of old age, he would dance in the Spirit during praise and Worship. Although he was a poor singer he sung the loudest because he believed in giving his all in worship. I’m also like that and so are my siblings. My brother will dance his clothes off in worship and his voice will drown out all the worship leaders even If they are using a microphone!
It’s a good thing that he has an excellent voice. Lol
Storytelling was another of my grandpa’s strongest attributes. My dad did the eulogy at the funeral and he had the congregation totally captivated and almost rolling on the ground with laughter as he told some of the memories he had of his father. My brother, my sister and our nephew also share this trait. They are excellent story tellers and their flare for drama makes each story come alive in such a dynamic way. I am also a story teller but my fingers do most of the talking.
Isn’t that awesome?!
As I sat in the small but packed church I felt peace.
I realize that though I may not have spent much time with grandpa the legacy he left behind still lives on in others even though he is no longer with us.
In like manner, Jesus when He left this earth left us all a legacy which enables us to live an abundant life. He told His disciples in St John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever.”
So even though Jesus was greatly missed by His friends and family, they were assured that His traits, behaviours and presence would be alive in them forever, as long as they accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour. The Holy Spirit living in them would enable them to demonstrate who Jesus was to others who didn’t know Him.
Today Jesus wants to give someone the chance to inherit the legacy of His love and His power to live the abundant life. He wants to use you to showcase His awesomeness here on earth!
He also wants to remind someone who has accepted Him as Lord that He is with you – you may feel alone and forgotten but the legacy He has given you is the assurance that He is with you… FOREVER.
[Editor’s Note: In the captioned photo, Claudene Givans shares the only photo she has with her Grandpa. Sir Arthur Campbell. Mr. Campbell can be seen to her left with hands outstretched as if telling a story just as family members described him]