Thursday, February 9, 2012

Here and Gone

About three years back I decided to try to start visiting with some of the folks at Claiborne-Hughes Health Center, a local nursing home. I befriended four on my first visit - two ladies and two gentlemen.

On my second visit a few weeks later, one of the gentlemen had died. He loved the Lord, there was little doubt. I felt a little uncomfortable visiting the ladies repeatedly, so I decided to only visit the remaining gentleman on my return visits. His name was Billy Frizzell.

Does the last name ring a bell? It should. He was a brother to Lefty Frizzell, the famous honky-tonk singer of the 20th century. Billy had some memorabilia around his room, and he shared stories with me about his brother's fame, and experiences that he himself had enjoyed with several country music stars. Billy had actually recorded a song or two, which he played for me on his CD player. He was working on song writing, also.

It was pretty clear that Billy was lonely. Billy had been in the nursing home for months and months. He had several health problems. I don't think he received many visits from his family, and his lone son had been estranged from him years before, following his parent's divorce.

I shared the Gospel with him on that first visit. He shook his head yes a lot, but didn't say much. He just smiled and listened. On my second visit I recall asking him if he had any questions about the Bible and things eternal. He said, "I guess not." He just smiled, sometimes a little nervously, and was a man of few words.

On my following visits, I would bring him Pepsi's and honeybuns, which he said he loved... but the nurses had to keep them and monitor his diet because of his health.

Sadly, I stopped visiting regularly because of... well... life. Other things seemed to take priority.

A couple of weeks ago, I went back for a visit. I guess it had been well over a year since I'd been by. Billy was gone. The receptionist said that he had gone downhill fast. He was gone.

I hope someone was with him. I hope his son had returned and I hope they had reconciled, as Billy wished. I hope he was right with God. I hope the Spirit had changed his heart... that deep within maybe he had heard, received, and believed the gospel. I hope the Lord had saved him. Whatever the case, his eternity is now fixed.

I miss him now.

“What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.”
~Amy Carmichael

Life is so fleeting. It is God, our Maker, that gives us, "life and breath and everything" (Acts 17:25), and it is His to take away. I hope today we will all live in light of eternity. Why do we get caught up so much in the trifling "things of this world," the here and now? One day... a day appointed for each of us... we too will be here and gone.

No comments: