Yes, I realize that is not the full title of the Hymn. That's not important, yet.
I had the great pleasure of attending funeral services for an incredible man this past week. This man was the father and grandfather to some close, dear friends of mine and a few things have been on my mind this week that I wanted to share.
Upon learning of his passing Sunday night, I realized I couldn't remember his name. I couldn't remember his wife's name for that matter either. To me, these two fine individuals were always Grandpa & Grandma Crossley. You see, a very close friend of mine was killed in a car accident when I was in high school. This was a tough thing for me because though she lived 1/2 mile away, she was the closest friend my age. And close friends we were. I spent some quality time with her family, including extended family, during the days leading up to and after her services. Her grandparents, Douglas & Patricia Crossley, became another set of grandparents for me. I made the decision to take work off and drive to Boise for the funeral services for a number of reasons but the most important reason, for me, was see Grandma Crossley. When I arrived at the church for the services I made my way down the hallway towards the room where the family had gathered to meet with friends and loved ones. As I stood in line, several familiar faces met my gaze and as the connection was made of the time spent many years ago, I quickly became overwhelmed with the feelings of love, appreciation, and friendship expressed from a family grieving their loss. It had been 16 years (if my math is correct) since I had the privilege of meeting these people and about that long since I had visited with most of them. That morning, however, it felt like yesterday.
During the services the song, "Each Life That Touches Ours for Good" was sang. I tried but could barely make it through a few words here and there. I remained overwhelmed at the love that this family expressed during this time when it seems they should be the ones receiving such love. Not being able to sing, I followed along with the words. The second verse impacted me perhaps the most as the words read:
What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.
This song was talking about this family. This family that has, and continues to follow the example set by an incredible husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, strengthen my faith and enrich my days. The song closes with a fitting prayer:
For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior’s name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.
I hope we take a moment and recognize these friends in our life and strive to be this friend to others.