Notes from Jan

Picture Perfect

January 22, 2017

One day last week I sat studying the program from Jud’s memorial service, stunned it’s been two years.

January 17, 2015

On the front cover’s Jud’s smiling face, last official photo at Gordon College 2011.  Back page shows our family, most smiling,  supported by the railing and each other on a catamaran off the coast of Maui 2013, celebrating our 50th.   The pages in between contained words: scripture, poetry, names of participants, musical pieces, reflections, hymns and another photo.

As before, it’s Jud’s photo on the inside back cover that holds my heart and strengthens my resolve.  He’s bald, head bowed, eyes closed,  standing outside in a worn sweater and open collared shirt. Vulnerable. Quiet.We’d gone to New Hampshire to visit friends, Gordon and Gail, and to celebrate Jud’s birthday. As was our custom, we group hugged and prayed our farewells.  Gordon snapped the picture, capturing the face of a man at peace. Still life.

Lyrics from one of the hymns sung at the service, reminded me why Jud’s at peace when his body and world were falling apart.

Maybe these words will encourage you, as they have me.

Be still, my soul! the Lord is on thy side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to thy God to order and provide;

In every change He faithful will remain.

 Be still, my Soul! thy best, thy heavenly Friend thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

As I look at the photo, I draw strength from Jud’s calm resolve.

Standing still.

Still standing.

When I consider the future, mine and our country’s,  I take courage and hope from, “Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain.”

Not all’s repealable.

Be Still, My  Soul!



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  • Reply Darlia Conn January 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Jan, that’s the best Sunday sermon I heard today. Love you!

  • Reply Helen Demsko January 22, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Song is one of my favorites..and your friend Gail’s book “In His Everlasting Arms” is right next to where I’m writing read again. (I’d love to have tea with her, only I’d never leave!)

  • Reply Nancy Sheys January 22, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I, too, take courage and hope from, “Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain.” I needed this today. My role as “Care-giver” gets so tiring sometimes. It’s always so good to be encouraged by scripture or favorite hymns. I often ask the question, how long; will things get better; is this my life forever now? All I need to know, right now, is that I am to leave to the Lord the order and provide and in every change He will faithfully remain. I am not alone. He walks side by side with me. Thank you for the wonderful encouragement.

  • Reply wendy lane January 22, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Wow, it’s been 2 years… I’m thankful for how the Lord has been with you, as you have so faithfully and beautifully shared with us all, over and over. Your transparency is precious. Your faith is contagious. Your words are so encouraging. Thank you! Love and prayers!!

  • Reply Wanda Bickers January 22, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Jan – Hello. 19 years ago you spoke at Grace Fellowship Church’s 2nd Women’s retreat. This year is our 20th year and we are reaching out to previous speakers and asking them to send a quick video with well wishes, a quick remembrance or an encouragement. If you’d like to participate please send contact me at the email provided and I will send you instructions for the video. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your consideration!

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