Stooped over his cane, weary in body, the old man of God sits on his porch. He raises his tired eyes as a passerby calls his name. An immediate smile breaks out on the holy man’s face. “Helloooo!” he yells out and then goes back into completive thought, wondering how he could have done more for God. His body is nearing the end of its journey and the aches are constant reminders that it’s not long until it lays down into the dust from which it came.

Tears come easily these days from a tender heart that has no strength to withhold their expression. The holy man knows that soon he will meet his maker face to face. He wonders… Have I pleased my Lord?

Many times he has glimpsed into the heavenlies, but has never fully been convinced that he has done all that he can. How can the old man of God know for sure that he has obtained the prize?

Heaven is stooped over looking at one of its cherished prizes. They see past the aged body into the holy man’s spirit. They are ecstatic and have stopped to watch the final play from their lofty perch. They sense that soon the greatest event of this humble servant’s life will be displayed before all creation.

They’re vying for the best positions to watch the grand entrance of this patriarch, this one the Almighty has called his friend. It has been many years that this man has ministered in love and power from heaven, but to the watching host it has been like a vapor. They pause… The holy servant tries to stand; he is shaking and looks as if he will fall. He makes his way to his bed with some assistance.

Hell has also come, for they know there is death in the air and they tremble in this particular case; they know this man. The holy man lays down slowly into the bed with much pain. Heaven and hell grow silent as the last breath is breathed, like a grain of wheat that’s planted into fertile soil, the old man is gone.

Silence in earth for days, however, heaven and hell are far from silent. Hell is pleading for the holy man not to come, heaven is crowning and positioning their new priest.

With resurrection power, the seed that has fallen into the ground begins its assent to the surface. The holy man arises from the silence and has been clothed with glory and honor from his Holy King. The last and final deed has triumphed all darkness.

The man was loved in earth and had many friends, but walked in a place of the spirit that he had to walk alone. Standing free from all restraints; he no longer abides alone. He lives within the lives of so many, the number cannot be told. The humble servant is now the light of the Ozarks, never to lose his strength or power.

The King is pleased beyond human understanding. He had found one amongst so many that would walk as an ambassador of the throne. He had found one that would walk into the ground and die, give his life, to save his life. He has become a memorial, a harvest, an expression of life.

The King beckons His friend; the old man bows in adoration. The King stands and thrusts forth His golden scepter and booms into the eternals,

“Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into my joys.”

A massive door is then opened into the King’s private dwelling. A luxurious crimson carpet is rolled out for the holy man. He is ushered into the eternal place and the massive door is shut. He dwells in a place where human reasoning cannot go. He lives forever.

Heaven shifts its gaze back to the throne; the King sits back down and with great authority points to the earth, “Find me another.”

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I was blessed to have both of my grandfathers as preachers. I hope you enjoyed this tribute to my grandfather, J.D. Middleton

-Rob Schreckhise