07 September 2008


On Thursday I wished a very good friend, Richard Beers, Godspeed for his journey into eternal life. Dick was a veteran of both the Second World War and the Korean War. He was given a field promotion (I think that's what it is called) to lieutenant. Dick and Ruth were married 57 years.

Dick beat cancer twice only to be diagnosed last week with kidney failure. I saw him on the morning before he died. He was unconscious, but when I went into the ICU and called his name, he opened his eyes. I talked to him for a few minutes and then said I was going to leave so he could rest and told him I would "be back tomorrow." Dick pulled the oxygen mask off and said, "I won't be here; see you in heaven, Jim." (Which is the reason I chose this particular hymn for tonight. And as far as I'm concerned, it is a hymn.)

Dick was the head greeter for our local WalMart for thirteen years. and knew about half the shoppers by first name. At the memorial, every greeter who had worked for WalMart here in Paso attended. St. Peter has help at the gates now, because Dick is there to greet people.

Tonight's Evensong is for Dick. And the answer to the question posed is, "Yes, Dick, I'll know your name."

For the BBC Evensong, click here.