R.I.P. Uncle Robert Charles…

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Psalm 30:8 To you, O LORD, I cried,
and to the LORD I made supplication:
9 “What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”

11 You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Like many other psalms, this one is attributed to King David. The title of the passage in my bible says, “Thanksgiving for recovery from grave illness”. Apparently David cried out to the Lord and was healed. David was lavish in his praise and thanksgiving to God for saving him – but some years later David died anyway. Mortality strikes all of us, even a revered and favored king like David.

Yesterday I went to the funeral of my wife’s uncle, Robert Charles Kuhl. Yesterday was also my day of Sabbath rest, so it was an interesting confluence of events at one time. There was reading scripture, writing, praying in the morning. Then driving to a town near Austin for the funeral. Then a brief graveside service to lay Robert Charles to rest.

Robert Charles was not a man to say much. He listened a lot, smiled, nodded, always observing. He was a steady, faithful sort, a man of quiet strength. He served faithfully in state government for many years. He loved the Lord and was active in his local church. He loved his family and lived to see lots of grandchildren. He loved burning brush on the family farm when we got together for the holidays.

Robert Charles wasn’t famous or rich – but in my mind he was wildly successful. Why? Because he was a man of purpose and principle. And those of us who knew him are all the better for it. He will most certainly be missed.

Heavenly Father, receive Uncle Robert Charles into your arms as one of your own. Console those who mourn his loss, and help us remember the important things he modeled for us. We look forward to the day when we too are called to our heavenly home, when we will see him again. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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