Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Burial of PerLee Hartman

For PerLee Hartman, 9/11/20
Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-33
Revelation 21:2-7
Psalm 23
John 6:37-40

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Jesus said, “This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” 

I did not really know PerLee Hartman.  Not when he was a strong, feisty, independent man.  Well, wait that’s not true.  From the stories Janine has told me, he was a damn strong feisty man right to the end!  She’d come in every week to tell me and Candy about how PerLee had somehow worked his wheelchair to the point that he was dangling over a cliff, hanging by one finger in the middle of nowhere, and then it would end with her laughing about how it always turned out alright.

Even in his final years, PerLee could get into trouble before you could say “Get back in your wheelchair!”  I did not know PerLee well, but I feel like I knew him because of the stories Janine tells me about him.  He lived a good life, and was loved by good people.  People who miss him, and will continue to remember the joy he brought into your lives.  As crazy as that joy often was!

As I said, I did not know PerLee well, but you did.  That’s why you’re here today.  And I hope those of you who knew PerLee will keep telling stories about this remarkable man in the days ahead.  You knew PerLee.  And more importantly, Jesus did.  Jesus knew PerLee, and Jesus loved PerLee.  And here’s why that is important.

As we just heard, Jesus said, “anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.”  And Jesus said, “I will lose nothing of all that the Father has given me.”  And Jesus also said, “all who see the Son and believe in him will have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

I can clearly see that Jesus was describing PerLee Hartman here.  He came to Jesus, and Jesus never drove him away.  PerLee was given to Jesus in his baptism, and was not lost to him.  PerLee believed in Jesus, and most often probably found Jesus in the peaceful woods and streams that God created.  Created just to remind people like PerLee that God still loved him.

PerLee was known by Jesus, and is not lost to Jesus, and PerLee will be raised up on the last day.  And I like to think that when that happens, on the last day, we will all see PerLee Hartman, standing next to an empty wheelchair and asking us all, “What the hell took you so long?"

May God’s face shine on PerLee Hartman, and may God’s face continue to shine on each one of you.

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