A childhood friend of my son died the other day and he is not the first one. This system has not been easy on the younger generation, though it is easier on them than it is on the younger generation still, some of whom have hung themselves and streamed it live on Facebook. It’s a little hard for adults to reassure their children that all is right with the world when they see their classmate on the internet doing that, even though some apostates who have gone atheist try to let on that the world is just getting better and better.
Anyhow, he had strayed far from his Bible roots, though I did remark that I hope when I die I have as many people saying what a good guy I was as he did, and I worried somewhat how the speaker would handle it since it is a bit dicey and I found myself wishing I could give the talk myself, for I am good at that sort of thing, if not much else. What you must do is carry on not too much about his ‘bad decisions,’ (which the speaker did not, though it depends upon whose eyes you view it through) but you must keep an eye upon his non-Witness buddies and his daughter particularly and say: ‘this talk is for them.’ Of course, you cannot be untrue to the Scriptures, but the Scriptures are like a multi-faceted gem – you must search for the proper facet with which to let the light shine through. And you don’t have to avoid ‘bad decisions’ entirely – after all, no one can say that crashing your snowmobile through the ice when it had been warm lately was a good decision.
When you break into the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 is a fine place to start. ‘For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who are sleeping in death, that you may not sorrow just as those do who have no hope.’ Who can argue with that - Witness or non-Witness?
Everyone hung about at the lodge afterwards, and I approached members of the lad’s biker gang, who were visibly taking his death hard. “My son played with him as a kid,” I said, ‘but you would know him better than me – what was he like?’ ‘Better grab yourself some pizza,’ I said later on. Commish said no, for they had to ride and if they ate they might fall asleep. I said don’t take it the wrong way, but that strikes me as humorous and it reminds me of how my ancient Dad now has a lot of Westerns playing in the background, some featuring Ronald Reagan! in which the good guys are always ready to ride at the end of the show.
I also told him about the days long ago when I was in the doghouse with my wife and I looked for some grandiose gesture to try to rectify matters so I visited the Dinosaur Restaurant where Hell’s Angels were reputed to hang out to see if I could recruit them to visit her on twenty choppers and the head guy get out and hand her a dozen long stem roses. The waitress thought it was a really cool idea, and she would tell the guys, but I never heard back. “You should have called us,” the biker at the funeral said, “we would have done it.” I walked away to chat with others and he approaches me to hand me his well-worn biker card – I mean, think of the places it must have been! Believe me when I tell you, I am sorely tempted to pick a fight with my wife deliberately so as to land in the doghouse again so as to hire these guys. Though it will probably happen anyway for I am not the easiest guy to be around long-term and my wife occasionally gets fed up. Others in the congregation say: “that Tom Harley is a great guy, but imagine if you had to be around him 24/7!”