Monday, July 25, 2005

Rev. Stewart Graves, Gerry's pastor asked me to write something for his funeral services. I wrote about Gerry through a river of tears. Brother Stewart read what a I wrote -- I could not
do it.
Looking through my files tonight I found that letter and thought I would post it here.

Coram Deo,
Dear Friends,

My brother Gerry was 15 months my junior. He was not only my brother, but also one of my closest friends in this world. I will miss him dearly, but at the same time I have great confidence that we will be together again.

Gerry knew that his hope was in Christ and Him crucified. He was at peace with the fact that he would soon depart this world and enter into paradise, where he would see his Saviour face to face.

Gerry was always one of the bravest men I knew. I thought he was brave to the point of foolhardiness at times and I never saw him back down from a fight if he knew he was right. There were times, when we were young, when I thought flight was the best option. Not Gerry, he would fight an army single-handed before he would think of running.

My brother loved the land. He owned 40 acres on which he raised horses, cattle and an occasional hog. He was also an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt and was able to hunt deer, doves, rabbits etc right outside his back door (this is a Cajun view of paradise). Some of my fondest memories are of times when he and I went hunting together.

Gerry was also proud of his Cajun, Southern and Confederate heritages, all of which have deep Christian roots, though I fear they all are far removed from those roots today. In line with the better parts of that pedigree he was a generous and very giving man. Gerry was the type of man who would give you the shirt of his back if you needed it.

He was a volunteer fireman and served as a Fire Chief in his community. He was on the fire brigade and rescue team at the chemical plant (PPG) where he worked. He was also an EMT as well. Gerry did all these things because he wanted to help others, and he was driven to be his best in these things because he knew that when called to duty lives would be at stake.

Gerry’s greatest concern during his illness was for those that were concerned and suffering because of their love for him. He was especially concerned for his wife, his children and his young son-in-law. Gerry leaves behind Becky, his wife of 23 years, Shannon (20 yrs), Dustin, (8 yrs) and Casey (3 yrs), and don’t forget Brian, Gerry’s son-in-law, who is now serving in Baghdad.

I wish to thank y’all for your prayers for Gerry and his family. Gerry is home, secure in Christ and is now awaiting the resurrection of the body. His pain and suffering is ended and his need for prayer ended at 1 am Sunday morning, but his family is in great pain and the loss that they feel is great, so please continue to pray for them.

God is a gracious God, and even in this most difficult time His grace is sufficient. Gerry was blessed with abundant grace and was at peace with his Lord. He did not fear death, because he knew in whom he believed. He believed in Jesus Christ who is Lord of lords, King of kings and Saviour of all those who turn to Him.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Ps, Thanks for your prayers and words of encouragement.

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