As I photographed this old farm house I couldn't help but imagine the family or generations that grew up in this stately structure. This was certainly not your typical southern shotgun shack. The owners must have had a large number of acres for farming or perhaps owned a local business nearby. I'll bet the inside walls would have stories to tell of life lived and loved together.
But somewhere in the not too distant past this old lady started to show its age. While it is quite apparent that the grass is mowed regularly, the paint is now peeling, the floor boards probably creak, the lights and water are most likely cut off, and silence fills the empty rooms... only memories echo through the hallways and former living spaces.
It is sad when an old place like this is silently surrendered to time. It's sad when a once vibrant life must silently surrender to the pains and perils of old age as well. On our prayer list a while ago was the name of a man that I never knew but who served the Lord faithfully as a missionary for years. He was probably also a pastor of several churches and most likely ministered as a lay leader into his golden years because most from that generation did not believe in actually retiring from the Lord's work.
There would be no funeral or memorial service. Perhaps he spent his last years in a nursing home and had been long forgotten by family and friends. Just like this old house, perhaps he was abandoned. Memories eventually fade from the human mind but the Lord God, our Maker and Friend, does not forget those who've loved and served Him. And as this man recently took his last breath on earth he took his first breath in heaven and heard these words from Jesus...
"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" (Matthew 25:23)
At that moment, a weary, worn life of silent surrender gave way to incomprehensible peace, joy and praise.
Maybe my imagination got the better of me today, but know that what you've done for the Lord will never be forgotten -- they are stored up as treasures in heaven. Your faithfulness has earned you eternal rewards with our Father God. No one and nothing can ever take that away!