The day before the memorial service for my mom (she passed away August 4) we meet with Dr. Robert Baker (the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Lexington, KY where the service was held). Dr. Baker asked us to share stories and memories of mom, many of which he then included in his remarks at the service the next day. My brother Wayne shared a story about mom that I had forgotten.
Back in Ames, Iowa where we grew up Wayne had a friend named Kurt. They were close in grade school and junior high. A few years after Kurt graduated from high school he got married. One day, he came home to find his wife in bed with another man. Kurt pulled out his gun, shot and killed the other man.
A few months later, I was home visiting my family in Ames. Mom says, “We should go visit Kurt in prison.” I wasn’t excited about the idea, “I didn’t really know Kurt.” Mom said, “That’s OK. I didn’t know him well either. He won’t care.”
I still wasn’t convinced, “It will be awkward, mom. I don’t think we should.” She persisted, “Jesus said that when we visit prisoners in jail it’s like we’re visiting him. Let’s go visit Jesus.” (See Matt. 25:36-40.)
It’s hard to say no to an invitation to see Jesus.
When we greeted Kurt it wasn’t awkward. He was happy to see us and he shared stories of how God was at work in his life. He was even leading a Bible study on the book of Matthew with his cellmates. It was truly like visiting Jesus.
I really miss my mom, but am comforted to know that she’s gone to visit Jesus.