April 4: You have cut short the days of his youth

by Dennis Weiscopf

Lenten Devotional 2011Recently, news reached me of the sudden death of a relatively younger man, who had been a worker at the Senior Center at the First Presbyterian Church.

William had always been a cheerful and energetic person, whether he was setting up or breaking down tables and chairs, ladling food onto trays, or bringing trays to the disabled and immobile members; he was always handy with a kind word added to whatever help was required.

My usual response to such news is to decry the senselessness of so early a death, to grieve the untimely end of a truly good soul, and to pray for the wife and children left behind in even lesser economic circumstances. And that was true in this instance also.

But that was merely the initial reaction when hearing of the death of a 44-year-old man to a sudden and quick bout with cancer.

I found that very soon thereafter I felt filled with an overpowering warm glow, filled with a tumult of thoughts of the numerous acts of kindness that William had performed quietly and selflessly on every day that he contributed to the operation of the Center’s lunch program. He was not paid well for his work, but he was loved for it.

When fiscal realities hit hard last June and the Senior Center was closed down, the members gave a substantial portion of their remaining funds that they had raised through the years to William in token of thanks.

I write this in gratitude to William.

Genesis 49:1-28
Psalm 89
1 Corinthians 10:14-33; 1 Corinthians 11:1
Mark 7:24-37