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May 20

Devotional from Jeff Boerefyn

Everyone needs a Gary in their life. These were the words I said to my wife just over a week ago and a story I will share with you. 

It happened on a difficult and trying day in her life, since she had just been part of the funeral service for a much loved grandmother (Oma to us of course).  God blessed Oma with 8 children and many grandchildren and even more great grandchildren. There was no way for everyone to be part of the funeral to remember and celebrate Oma’s life because of social distancing laws and the physical distance that many would have to travel, so the idea was raised could someone live stream the visitation and funeral so more could be a part.

With much trepidation, Maria and my son John undertook the task.  They gathered the limited equipment we had and with very limited time to prepare set out on the day of the funeral to do the best they could.  Needless to say, they faced many challenges, technical problems arose, equipment failed, the weather was windy, snowy, and rainy, and there was the emotional toll of saying goodbye to someone you loved. They came home glad to have done their best but feeling a somewhat defeated knowing things could have gone far better.  It was then the email came from Uncle Gary in Alberta.  His words were simple but the effect was more profound.  His words of gratefulness and encouragement were a balm for a hurting soul; words that made the distance between them not feel as great and motivation to push on.  His words helped spur Maria and John on to complete a video package of the funeral along with a song sung by many members of the family.  This video has been shared and seen hundreds of times blessing those who have seen it.  The words of one Uncle Gary encouraging another has born much fruit, such as the feedback of someone finding meaning in family or another rediscovering the lost ability to worship.  

We all need a Gary in our life, someone to encourage and motivate us.  For me this brings to mind the words in Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”.  There is someone in your life today that needs your voice of encouragement.  Reach out to them and bless them with words that will lift them up and pray that the words you share will empower for the glory of God.