My wife Vicki and I thought that the funeral we attended today at Emmanuel Bible Church in Berwyn,IL would be the worst funeral we ever experienced. Jimmy Watley, the 33 year old son of long-time family friends, died unexpectedly last Friday of pneumonia. He leaves behind Allison, his wife of almost 4 years, a beautiful 10 month old daughter, Zoey, sisters Chris and Gina, and father Jim and step-mother Mickey. We left immeasurably blessed!
The opening song was “My Chains are Gone”, which includes the words of “Amazing Grace”. The lead pastor’s message that followed acknowledged and affirmed the enormity and pain of the loss while stressing the goodness of the Lord as notably evidenced in Jimmy’s enthusiastic Christian witness and desire to share the love of Jesus with everyone he met- especially the young lady who would become his wife.
As we spoke with Jimmy’s father prior to the service, he talked of how his son’s death was shaping and preparing him for continued ministry, that the Lord still had work for him to do. Even though Jim and his family have wrestled with Jimmy’s death, they can affirm, as the pastor mentioned Lazurus’ sister Martha confessed: “Yes , Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who has come into the world.”- John 11:27