Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A life that inspires....

I have struggled with this post...not sure that I could really do justice to writing about my friend Bobby Myrick and his home-going. I mean, it's hard to write about someone who was bigger than life like Bobby.

Then yesterday, during the celebration of his life, I was struck by so many thoughts at least a couple were bound to find their way to this page.

I arrived at the church early, knowing that it would be packed. Bobby and his wife Debi have touched so many lives over the years, but I had no idea HOW packed it would be. The parking lot filled and the over-flow filled as well. Honestly, I'm not sure there is a parking lot anywhere in Hattiesburg that could have handled all those who wanted to just say thank-you to this man and his family.

As I climbed the steps, I remembered Bobby from many years before when I was "in charge" of the Children's ministry at the church. In charge - I was doing my best to hear from God, love children and make sure every class had a teacher...definitely not "in charge!" I had one particular group of boys that I just could not keep a teacher for...a group of leaders every one. (That of course means they were a handful and could come up with mischief that I had never imagined!) I don't know if Bobby saw how I was struggling or simply saw the potential in those boys, probably the latter, but when he agreed to teach that class I think I took a deep breath for the first time in weeks. He taught that class for years - moving up with them as they grew. Some Sundays I felt certain that they discussed hunting or fishing or sports more than "God", but years later I know what he really did was model what it meant to be a Christian man for a big group of future men. The lives those boys have gone on to touch speak volumes about how this man invested his life.

As the service began, I sat in a sea of faces - all ages, races, and walks of life. Story after story had us laughing as we celebrated Bobby's life. Still, I was choking back tears - not for him, but for us. And I was inspired. I realized I knew so little of this man, but he had spent his life loving God and people with a gusto that few can muster. He had invested in so many...and that's just the ones who knew about it! He was constantly giving and I'm sure some never knew that he was the one whom God had chosen to bless them. He simply gave without asking for reward or recognition or praise. He did it in his own brash, big grin on his face, bold kind of way. 

And Bobby left this world as he had lived in it....serving others. After retiring, he had started a new ministry - Mercy Mowers. He filled his days doing yard-work for those who could not do it for themselves. This man was being an example of how to live for God right up to the moment when God said it was time to come home. When Bobby walked out of this world, he had been mowing the lawn for an elderly widow. I can't tell you how many have said, "That's how I want to go....serving others and doing something for God."

Yesterday, I was inspired. I was seeing the impact of a life invested in others. I so want to repeat some of the wonderful stories I heard, but I just can't do them justice. Those are stories that don't have to be told - you can see them lived out every day in the lives of those who lived them. The ripples of Bobby's actions will be felt for years...decades...really through eternity.

I want to live a life like Bobby lived. (By the way - his father lived his life that way before him and his wife Debi lives her life this way, too.) This family has lived their lives, not worried about being "Somebody" - they just are. No, Bobby wasn't perfect...maybe that makes me want to live as he did even more. He and his family simply give God what they have and who they are and they don't seem to worry about how it will be perceived by others. They truly love people. Yes, I want to live a life like that...

Thank you Bobby (and Debi and Brother Howard and Ms Alice and Ms Rosemary.) You inspire me to want to live a life unafraid - serving God and investing in the lives of those around me. You inspire me to be myself. You inspire me to get involved in the lives of those around me. You inspire me to live life unafraid. I'm sure you would have been embarrassed to have me say this to you before - you would have just passed it off with that "aagh" you always said...but now you can simply lay this praise at the feet of Jesus along with all the other crowns you took with you. 

A life that inspires.....thank you my friend.

Matthew 25:31-40

New International Version (NIV)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separatethe people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdomprepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Click on the following link to hear a song chosen in honor of Bobby and a life well lived. We fall down by Chris Tomlin

1 comment:

Paula McRee said...

Perfectly conveyed, Donna. I sang my first duet in church with Bobby. I had no idea how to sing a duet, but Bobby sang with and encouraged me all the way through. Gave that 16 year old girl confidence that she could minister.