I just sent a personal email in answer to my brother-in Christ Cliff Jones; you’ve no doubt read many of his posts on this blog. Cliff was worried about me and wanted to know how the family survived the weekend. After sending him my reply, I realized it is a testimony to the magnificent and sufficient grace of Jesus Christ that John Lauten wrote of in my last post. Please rejoice with me:
I just updated it (my blog); there are no photos that I am aware of. I’m not sure thousands showed up, but definitely hundreds. There were probably 500-600 inside the funeral home; it was packed.
Tina, my ex, and I have always kept a civil if not friendly attitude towards each other. Her husband and I embraced and wept many times for Eddie; he was and is a great stepdad to my children. My wife Karen and Tina embraced and wept at the gravesite also; they were and are incredible mothers to my children.
The gravesite ceremony was the toughest for me; I completely lost it when they folded the flag covering the casket. The grief I felt was dark, grim, and overwhelming; I thought I was going to faint and suddenly I felt a strong hand pull me up and gently began massaging my shoulder. It was my younger brother Steve. My stepdaughter Tiffany was seated directly behind me, Karen was to the right of her, and Eddie’s other stepsister Amanda was to Karen’s right. Karen was consoling both of Eddie’s sisters and when I began to breakdown, Karen touched Steve’s arm and said, “Go to your brother.”
I just leaned against his strong body while sitting in my chair. My brother is a professional body builder and his physical strength was both commanding and gentle. I love my brother and it was so awesome to see him. My family has been praying that he would get saved because we know how awesome he would be; he is so disciplined and never half-steps anything.
Yesterday we went to church and all this past week I have been openly sharing the gospel with him and my nephew Mike (my late eldest sister’s son). They were both like sponges. Steve even asked for what he would read first if he was to begin reading the Bible, and Karen gave him a New Testament and he began reading the Bible. He was doing so yesterday morning on my patio when I got up.
A missionary who we support in El Salvador came and testified and preached about serving Christ, and at the end our pastor came forward and gave the invitation.
I had been praying about when I should finally approach my brother about giving his life to Christ (I had done so in the past), but I never felt the Spirit’s release to do so. As we were going to church I just prayed to the Lord and said, “Father, we have shared the gospel with Steve, he is reading Your Word, and now he is in Your house. You bring him to the altar.”
When Bro Dennis gave the invitation to come and pray privately at the altar, my brother broke for the altar like a man with a mission. The whole time during the service I purposely did not look at my brother and I remained out of his line of sight. When I saw Steve drop to his knees and began praying, then the Holy Spirit told me, go to your brother and lead him home.
I had the tremendous opportunity, less than 24 hours after burying my boy, the most horrible day of my life; I was given the tremendous privilege of leading my brother to Christ.
Someone want to tell me about MY Jesus?!