I've mentioned before how I've been to funerals where I'm enveloped in a warmth that is unexplainable. The common denominator I have found is the profound love and respect for the lost loved one and the assurance that they had the salvation of Christ in their soul.
My friend and neighbor, Mr. Reno Sharpe, died last week (February 19th). I, along with the majority of my community, attended his funeral at my church (Antioch Christian Church) this past Sunday. I only live less than 4 miles from the church. I left in plenty of time to get there, add the food I made to the table in the fellowship hall and walk across the parking lot to the church. What I didn't allow for was the amount of traffic on the road to my little church.
It was overwhelming...in spirit and in number. So much so that guests, including me, were sitting in the nursery, the children's Sunday school class rooms, the adults' Sunday school classroom and the back hallway.
"Mr. Reno", as he was affectionately referred to, was honored and, dare I say, glorified that day. There were stories told and memories shared and laughter heard out loud. And there was music... "string music" to be exact. That's what Mr. Reno called bluegrass.
Three hours later, I drove myself home with not a tear in my eye or a knot in my throat. Nope, I was smiling and giggling those entire four miles and even tapping my toes to the banjo and mandolins I still heard in my head.
I'm going to miss my friend. Especially at Christmas. It had became an annual event for my husband and me to stop in at Mr. Reno's house and share a plate of food and some guilty sweets I'd made and visit with him for an hour or so. And no matter how much we resisted, nothing would do but Mr. Reno would send us home with a bag of pecans he'd collected in his yard and a block of hoop cheese. I'd never even heard of hoop cheese before the year 2003. My husband, on the other hand, would shake Mr. Reno's hand in appreciation until it became numb. Mike is a big fan of the cheese and it brought back memories for him of getting such a treat from his own grandfather's "general store" in Kentucky.
While Mike and I won't be sharing our holidays with Mr. Reno anymore, we will be sharing in the legacy he left behind. That "string music" I mentioned...it'll play on at Reno's Sharpe Store.
Well done faithful servant, well done.