Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mr. Tom

Thank you, dear friends, for all of your prayers and words of encouragement on behalf of our family, and Tom and Claudia's this week. We have felt the grace of God over us, and here at the end of the week, feel weary, but so thankful.

The day is done. It was wonderful and exhausting. Our tiny church was bursting at the seams with all of the people Tom and Claudia have touched with their lives. Even the two little classrooms upstairs were full - borrowed speakers and microphones from the school made it possible for us to hear, if not see, the service.

And the stories. Oh, the stories! Tom was the king of the country parable - and his famous one-liners, "I forgot to bring m' bucket to carry m' tune in!" always had us in stitches. Many stood and remembered those stories aloud today.

How do you encapsulate the life of a man into a funeral service? Or a blog post, for that matter? You just don't. The measure of a man such as Tom requires more than the measuring tapes and yardsticks he used in his woodworking; link the hands of everyone who was ever touched by Tom and the life he led, and the resulting sphere would not be fit to contain the size of his heart.

He took my sons to the cabin he built with his own hands and pushed them out on a swing, sending them soaring over the edge of the mountain and back, his laughter as giddy and boyish as theirs. He came at a moments notice when I was frightened by some wayfaring travelers who asked for lodging in my home while my husband was away. He chuckled quietly to himself while everyone else exclaimed aloud over Eliana's funny singing during worship. And he was a father-figure and faithful elder to my husband and his ministry.

And rail-thin, our Tom. He could eat sugary snacks like nobody's business, and still not gain an ounce of fat! My favorite image of him is from a movie-night we held at our home; he walked to and fro from the couch to the table, gathering handfuls of my homemade caramel corn, and unapologetically crunched on it all evening long.

In honor of our friend, I made a double batch of caramel corn to set on the potluck dessert table today.

Extra salty, with tears mixed in.

We love you, Tom. And we'll miss you. We're so glad we knew you!

5 fellow travelers shared:

bluemountainmama said...

what beautiful words....and beautiful tribute.

Stacy said...

Your post made me wish Tom had been a part of our church body.
What a dear man!

Wendy WaterBirde said...

What more lovely a tribute could someone ask for..." a fixture in this small town as sure as the goat-heads that stick in your bike wheels". So concrete and kind...I'm sure he's smiling : )

Blessed Sabbath : ) Wendy

Andrea said...

I am loving you made the caramel corn for the potluck table.
Oh, he is dancing with the LORD right now!!!

Mrs. S said...

Thank you for the update on the service. He sounds like a wonderful man ... an example to all. I hope we can all have such a testimony when we go home to be with the Lord.

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