Hebrews 9:27, 28 ‘And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.’
You are a Christian and the thought came to you, if you were to write your own eulogy, what form would it take? You have to be utterly honest (Exodus 20:16; John 8:32; 3 John 4) and write factually about yourself. What main points would you want to include?
Technically a eulogy is a speech in praise of a person or a thing, especially a set oration in honour of a deceased person.
Not so long ago a friend whom I had known over many years died. I wasn’t surprised, because he had been suffering with poor health and was aged over ninety. Nevertheless his death came as shock. No longer was he there for our telephone conversations which were usually about our reminiscences of sailing small boats. His daughter asked if I would write a few words that could be read at her father’s funeral. I agreed. Sadly I would not be able to attend the funeral, because I was unwell myself.
A Portion of the Eulogy to My Friend
On our second cruise to Ireland we had the misfortune of meeting two gales – one on the outward passage from Falmouth, and the other on the return passage, when sailing to the Scillies. The second of the two gales was severe, and we were fearful for our lives. You can’t imagine how uncomfortable it was being tossed to and fro, up and down and from side to side. Outside, all hell was let loose. The wind howled and shrieked in the rigging, and the foaming crests thumped against the hull.
Things were not always like that. We had many wonderful encounters with sea creatures, including sailing in close proximity with whales, dolphins and sharks. The sharing of sunsets, glorious night skies with shooting stars, beautiful cliff scenery, sandy beaches, secluded coves and swimming from the boat in calm waters were our great pleasures. The eating of freshly caught mackerel, straight from a sizzling pan, flavoured with mayonnaise and toasted breadcrumbs – nothing can beat it. There were captivating moonlit nights, misty mornings, glorious sunrises, cold dank sea fogs, and the sound of ships’ horns. Fog was always frightening – the horror, and the dread of being run down by an unseen ship made the heart pound.
These things are not forgotten – elation, joy, happiness, contentment and fear!
When holed-up in a sheltered anchorage waiting for a gale to subside, many a tale we told one another. There were countless reminiscences and the swopping of good books for wiling away the time. Discussions about profound and deep things; mysteries, philosophies, history, politics and religion, war and peace – God – we probed them all. Our friendship deepened, and in the autumn of our lives we maintained contact with one another.
So for me, it has been a profound privilege to have known ‘X’ and to have shared so many wonderful adventures together. He was indeed, a good man who always considered others before himself. I shall miss his friendship and support, his generosity and care. I shall miss his distinctive and comforting voice. I shall miss him – a friend lost, but never forgotten.
Thank you God for ‘X’. He has been a blessing to so many. “Goodbye, dear friend.”
The Standing of ‘X’ before God
Over the years that I had known my friend I had repeatedly made clear to him the gospel of the good news of salvation (Romans 1:16, 17; 10:15-17) through Jesus Christ. He read the Bible and had some understanding of the contents, but I could never get from him an acknowledgement that he believed and trusted Jesus (1 Timothy 4:10, 11). He never clearly stated that Jesus was his Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:9). He often spoke of spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14) and believed in *miraculous healing. On the other hand he certainly did not worship with Christians (Hebrews 10:24, 25), and he did not on any occasion pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17) with me. I saw in him and witnessed many kindnesses and tenderness. He always respected the law of the land and honoured people. His moral standing was high.
DespIte these things I could not be sure of his eternal state at the time of his death, but God would have heard my prayers for him over the years. Maybe his soul is with Jesus; however, it’s not for me to judge! The God of all the earth will have judged rightly (Genesis 18:25).
Now I leave you with that challenge dear Christian friend – What would you write about yourself?
*The Miracles of Jesus