Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Honor to Whom Honor is Due

I've just come back to my office from College Hts. Christian Church, and decided to write some thoughts about what I saw there. I will write about two separate events that took place in the building simultaneously. I would like to give honor to two people, that showed me what a life of service is all about.

MOPS program. I have never been tempted to volunteer as a MOPS babysitter, and after seeing what I did this morning, I may be less inclined to do such a strange thing. My wife, Rose, though, works in the afternoons, which has freed up her time in the morning. Twice a month, she works with the MOPS program our church sponsors. Since our daughter-in-law, Emily, is in town, I knew that our grandsons were going to be at the MOPS program today. I canceled a class late this morning, to attend the second event of this post. I was told to arrive early, and swing by where Rose would be watching the MOPS kids, so I could see our two grandsons (we have a 3rd one, but he is a 3-month old baby, so he wasn't there). I made it on time, found the room where the kids were. It seemed like there were forty-leven (that's a huge number!) of kids there, and only
2 volunteers. There was a cacophony of toddlers screaming and crying (because they missed their mothers) as well as a malodorous aroma rising from the breeches of several of the toddlers. The other volunteer was a retired man, so guess who got the job of changing the diapers? Rose looked at me, with one of those "I'm so glad you're here" looks, and told me to take off my suit coat and help. My grandsons were behaving. If one of them had been crying bloody murder, I could have handled it better, but to bring comfort to a toddler who is screaming for no apparent reason? I felt very ill-equipped. The one who was screaming the loudest was a boy named Cory--I don't know his last name. I picked him up and sat down on a rocking chair and tried to console him. I would much rather parse Greek participles. After a while, a toy musical instrument seemed to settle him down. Rose was working away at what seemed to be a conveyor belt process of changing dirty diapers. I take my hat off to her, as that labor of love probably provides some mothers of pre-schoolers some much needed relief from their toddlers. It kind of makes me proud to have such a servant as a spouse.

Jon Lantz Funeral. The reason I canceled my class was to attend the funeral of Jon Lantz. You can read his obituary here or here. You can read what area journalists have written about him here, or here, or here. I first heard about Jon shortly after coming
to Joplin, that the head football coach of the state university
in town was not only a member of the church, but was a Bible school teacher. I enjoyed knowing him. After he left his coaching position, he worked for Ozark Christian College for three years as the director of student development. His wife, Charlene, started working part-time in our bookstore at that time, a position she has held until the present. Recently, he has worked in the administration of North Eastern Oklahoma A & M (in Miami, OK), where he made an indelible impression as a man of character. He has graduated into the presence of God Himself. The inspired words of the Apostle Paul can truly be his:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:7-8)

So long, dear brother. See you again some day in glory!

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