We received news this morning that a dear old friend of ours graduated to Heaven last night. He was affectionately known to everyone as Uncle Leroy Cox. We've known him ever since we first went to Ft. Worth in 1990. His wife, Aunt Ginny, has taught preschool Sunday school for decades now, including our children many years ago.
Uncle Leroy was not a talkative man. He was always in the background smiling and occasionally kidding around while the rest of us talked. He was devoted to Aunt Ginny, and she to him. He was retired from running his own gas station, and she has her own natural foods shop. Uncle Leroy had stopped to pick her up at her shop yesterday afternoon. He sat down to wait while she closed up, and that is when he passed away.
I can't help but think of all our other friends from our church there who have gone on before Uncle Leroy waiting for him at the gates of Heaven, people like Mrs. Lily Martin and Mrs. Oleta Stephens. Can't you hear the Lord saying, "Go gather round the gate. Leroy's coming home today!" What a reunion they must have had. Can you imagine bowing before the feet of Jesus after you've served Him all your life? I imagine Jesus took Uncle Leroy into His arms and welcomed him home, too.
While we know Uncle Leroy is in Heaven, it is hard on his loved ones left here. Aunt Ginny is understandably shocked and heartbroken. Wes and I are praying for her this week.
It seems at times that there is one heartache after another. The valleys our friends are walking through have kept me praying more than I have in a long time, and every verse I read seems to speak to some situation that I know of among my friends. I am more convinced than ever that my God lives, and that He knows the paths that we take. While my heart hurts, my Savior speaks peace to me. My prayer is that He is doing the same for all of our hurting friends, and that they are finding rest in His care.