Eulogy of today as we laid to rest a gran today….
A tribute to a Women, a daughter, sister, a wife, mother, grand mother and great grandmother …
An honour to stand here and reflect on my grans life.
In my eyes she was the Original Mrs Ball’s. The oldest most wisest one We knew.
I read a quote this morning that said “if you want the rainbow, you have how put up with the rain’. I would like to change that to ‘If you want eternal life, you gave to put up with life’ …
You have to put up with life, it’s challenges, but keeping focus on the prize, the prize of eternity, the prize of once leaving our earthly lives to go and be with God our Saviour!
In Isaiah 57 v 1,2 it reads …
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. (Isaiah 57:1, 2 NIV)
Life as we know it throws you challenges, it’s not always great, it’s not always perfect, but being able to keep your eyes focused on the end prize, the eternal prize is the key. As I stand here today I believe that Oumie lived ‘the life’ all 90 years of it, but today she has found that eternal happiness, the prize she longed for!
“The first step to becoming what God made you to be is to stop conforming to what others want you to be” Pastor Rick Warren
I never saw Oumie as a comformist. From humble beginnings where she was born, to helping her mom and dad and 7 siblings survive the rig ours of life, to growing up and living in her beloved South West Africa, to raising two children, to being a widow for 36 years, to her love for her grandchildren and 3 great grand children (pop lap and all girls), to her love for the Sharks rugby team, to her sometimes stubborn ways and especially her love and dedication to The Lord.
The images I see of Oumie is her dedication to reading the bible, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, the way she always wore purple or mauve for special occasions and her love for a wimpy bacon and egg toasted sandwich.
Oumie was ready to go home, to go home to see her Heavenly Father. 10 days before she passed away I was fortunate to see Oumie on my way back from Durban. I offered to read for her from the bible that evening, and asked if I should read from the book of Psalms. I asked Oumie, who was at that stage already not that responsive, which psalm she would like me to read. Without any hesitation she muttered 26. So I opened her Afrikaans bible and in my best Afrikaans I read it to her. As I was reading there were significant words. When I got back to my folks place I went and read it in English, and only then read the true significance. Listen to the words!
Vindicate me, Lord, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered. Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites. I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, Lord, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with those who are bloodthirsty, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes. I lead a blameless life; deliver me and be merciful to me. My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord. (Psalm 26:1-12 NIV)
In the Message bible, the words are even more descriptive…
God, I love living with you; your house glows with your glory. When it’s time for spring cleaning, don’t sweep me out with the quacks and crooks, Men with bags of dirty tricks, women with purses stuffed with bribe-money. You know I’ve been aboveboard with you; now be aboveboard with me. I’m on the level with you, God; I bless you every chance I get. (Psalm 26:8-12 MSG)
On Friday 27 September 2013, a special day – 1 month after her 90, a day of 38 years anniversary for my folks – Oumie peacefully went to stand in front of The Lord, God as a faithful servant… I truly believe that she heard similar words to the story in Matthew where we read of the talents given to the workers to look after by there master …
‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. ’
It was a life well lived, a simple life but with important focuses. We will miss her, but her legacy should and will live on through us all.