On Monday, March 7th, at 5:45am… my Father In Law was called home. There is much you could say about the man. He wasn’t perfect. He had moments that were less than stellar. He made mistakes. He was a man with a past, but the man I knew had a future. He had become a new creation, the old has passed away.
The Gerald McCown that I knew, would break out in tears as he prayed to the Lord. He would get choked up at every family event, when he would pray a blessing over the food. He could talk theology with me, and debate End Times prophecy interpretation. He was incredibly smart about politics and what was happening around the world.
He is a part of the man that I married, his son. I see many of Gerald’s best attributes in my husband. I also know that my husband learned many a lesson from his dad on how to be a husband and father. He used his dad’s past to help him see what he should NOT do, and in equal measure used wisdom to direct him on what he SHOULD do in this role.
Gerald was loved by his friends, family, and those he worked with. He took every opportunity to share the Gospel with those he encountered. He preached sermons, led bible studies, and was a great evangelist. I am grateful that this is the Gerald McCown that I got to know, a man who knew he was a sinner and had faith that he was redeemed.
When anyone would ask Gerald how he was doing, he would reply:
“Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.”
I must admit, I would sometimes get annoyed with that answer. Tell me you are great, tell me you’ve had a rough day, tell me something. I never doubted his sincerity, I just wanted transparency. What I come to realize now, in light of not hearing those words again, is that they were truly transparent. He really, genuinely believed this… that in spite of his circumstances or health… simply having another day with Jesus was not only enough, but the important thing.
I can’t help but think that on Monday, it was the sweetest day… because he saw his Savior face to face. To be absent from the body, is to be at home with the Lord. March 7th was Gerald McCown’s sweetest day, and a day that those who love the Lord long for. We celebrate that Gerald has made it home, the place he wanted to be. He ran his race, he was poured out, but his work was done.
Although he wasn’t a perfect man, I know without a doubt that Gerald was greeted by Jesus… arms spread wide “Welcome, my good and faithful servant….”
I can hear him singing, “It is well…. with my soul….”
Gerald’s legacy here on earth lays within our hearts and fond memories. His wisdom and love of the Lord are recorded for our future generations to hear and read. Sermon notes, scrawled scripture notations, and pages falling out of a worn bible that reminds me of a quote:
A Bible that is falling apart belongs to someone who isn’t.
What I know about Gerald is that regardless of what he was facing, his faith was unwavering. He knew were to turn. He knew where to find guidance, hope, and peace. He was secure in the promises that there was a future long after death. That is a legacy that is immeasurable. Those of us who loved him know that this is not the end, death has no sting because we will see him again in the Great By and By.
For years my mantra has been: every day is a new day to do better, to try harder, to get it right. So, perhaps in honor of this man’s legacy….. when you ask me how I’m doing:
Every day with Jesus is a new chance.
We love you Jerry. We miss you. We’ll see you gain one day.