In God’s Arms – Part 8 (Jul-Aug 2002)

By Matt Dabbs

In God’s Arms: Part 8
A tribute to my brother
November 20, 1989

Three weeks ago today, my brother died. My feelings and emotions are easily stirred. When I awake from a night’s sleep, I see my brother’s body lying in the casket. I see his freshly pressed peach shirt and his bright white jeans. He looks so handsome.

A part of me deep within does not want to believe he is really dead. Intellectually, I know he’s gone and I won’t see him on this earth again. Emotionally, I yearn to touch him, to talk to him, and to be with him. I miss him so much.

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving. We’ll be having the meal at our home for the first time. It will be a special day, but it will also be a sad day. I know Greg is counting his blessings and rejoicing with God. At the same time, our hearts yearn for him to be with us.

A part of Greg will never leave our hearts. A part of me died with him, but a more precious part of him lives on in me.  

A Tribute to my Brother (I read this a Greg’s funeral)

My brother, Greg, was one of a kind. If I could have picked a brother, he would have been it. Greg and I were born only a year apart. Needless to say, we were each other’s best playmates. We, also, did our share of fussing, as brothers and sisters do. I think my mom could have thrown us out the window a time or two. We definitely kept her busy.

Greg’s favorite toys were Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys. We played with them together for hours. He was always able to build the most beautiful houses and the most unique creations with his little hands. At best, I tried to watch him and make a simple house. His hands created beautiful things all of his life. I couldn’t begin to count the number of flowers and trees Greg has planted for others. He always wanted his creations to look just right and as perfect as he could humanly make them.

Those who knew Greg knew how gentle and soft-spoke he was. He wasn’t a man of many words, unless you could get him talking about flower, trees and grasses. He lived his life quietly. Yet, he lived his life always building something beautiful for others to enjoy.

Greg and I were a typical brother and sister until about the age of fourteen. Then, we started developing a real friendship. We ate lunch together every day in high school. I’m sure that looked odd to many, but we wanted to. Little did I know until college, Greg had told his friends that I was his girlfriend! He didn’t want any of them dating me. We teased each other about that all of our lives.

Greg was an orderly person. He wanted everything in its place. Even in the hospital, barely able to life his arms, he would be straightening his hospital tray. He even wanted the pictures his nieces and cousins had colored for him taped just right on the wall. I had to tape up one of Amber’s pictures three times until it was just right.

Not only did Greg have his things in order, he had his life in order. When Greg realized he was dying, he wanted to get all of his business affairs taken care of. Up until the time Greg became sick, he ran his business diligently with as much perfection as he could put into it.

Greg, also, knew what he wanted to tell others before he died. We watched him as he opened up his heart, as never before to the people he loved the most. I have never seen anything so beautiful in all of my life. Greg kept saying, “I never knew so many people loved me. I never knew there was so much love in the world.”

Greg faced his death with a courage that could have only come from God. He was constantly trying to comfort all of us. He told us, “I’m happy and I’m ready. I can hardly wait to meet my God.” We watched Greg be filled with the Lord more and more each day. Greg was so filled with the love of God he couldn’t hold it inside.

I have never been so proud of anyone in my life as I was watching my brother face death. He gave us all something very, very beautiful.

We’re going to miss Greg so very much. But, with a grin on his face, he told me he would “save us a seat”.

There’s a poem that reminds me of my brother’s life. It goes like this:

Something beautiful, something good,

All my confusion he understood,

All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife,

He made something beautiful out of my life.

God definitely made something beautiful out of Greg’s life. I love you, Greg.

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This author published 1598 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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