Sunday, October 2, 2011

Our Hour

No man knows when his hour will come
Ecclesiastes 9:12
A week ago today, our friend Paul Beaupre, from our South Riverdale Community Church days in the ‘90s, was found dead by his wife. He died in his sleep. He was partway through writing a poem for his wife at the time, so he surely didn't know that his hour would come when it did. He had been ill with a very rare neurological disorder but no one thought he would go so soon. He was only 57.

Today at the funeral home, we saw so many of our old church friends. Some of them, we hadn’t had the chance to see since we left the church or the country in ’97 to go to the mission field. It was great to see everyone again. Memories, 14 years old and older, started flooding back. I remembered Paul setting up chairs or putting them away when our services were over. He was always up to something and often with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. There was a cheeriness and friendliness about him that stood out. He (Caucasian Canadian) and Alison (Hong Kong Chinese) looked like a couple who wouldn’t stay together long because they seemed so different from one another, but stay together, they did. We were at their wedding in 1994, at the same Bible Study group various times, and we visited sporadically over the last few years. They even lent us their van when we came home for a short two months Home Assignment in 2008.

Yes, along with many that were there, I’m sure we’ll all remember Paul and miss him for a long time to come. During the funeral service, those who spoke said he was an encourager, a loyal friend, and a lover of his wife, family, nature, and animals. He was also described as someone who was simply passing through. That, coupled with his other traits, was something I could completely relate with. He knew he had a final destination; that his life here wasn’t all there was. His pastor actually shared that Paul would often tell him that a Sunday morning service wouldn’t be a great one if the question “Would you say ‘yes’ to Jesus?” wasn’t asked. His position was that Jesus died for you so you could have eternal life. Would you then say ‘yes’ to him? As a way of honoring Paul, I’m asking on his behalf because I know he would want you to be in heaven with him one day. Actually, I'd like you there, too! Would you say "Yes" to Jesus?

Paul’s pastor further added that today we were on the other side of the room and not in front of the room, like Paul’s body was. He said it wouldn’t always be like that because one day, our body will be the one in front of the room. When that happens, where would your spirit have gone? Will it have gone to heaven?

Thanks for everything, Paul. You were such a blessing. Glad to know that you’re finally home. See you there, some day. =)

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