January 27, 2005

Followup on the preacher who died while preaching about heaven

Remember the story a couple of weeks ago about the Presbyterian pastor who dropped dead in the pulpit in the midst of a sermon about heaven? It made the rounds of the blogosphere and was the most-read story on Yahoo at that time.

It turns out that Jack Arnold's son is a writer, and he has contributed his own side of the story to the Chatanoogan newspaper. He writes:

My family is certainly sad to lose our father, but we are also glad he went out precisely the way he would want. Nevertheless, we have scratched our heads regarding why it became an international story. Our best guess is that people are concerned about the next life. Most of us have some early childhood image of the preacher urging us to prepare to meet our Maker. And when the man connected to God gets snatched away after a final warning, it makes you stop and think. . . .

He did struggle. He would fall and get up again. Yet he also improved and persevered. Yes, his final moments were glorious, but his journey also involved much pain and failure. Ironically, he finally made national and international headlines 24 hours after his death. But this too should encourage all of us who believe our reward is most likely on the other side of the river. And even the more secular folk can be encouraged that their labor and love may finally find its fruit and fulfillment in post-mortem fashion.

[Full Story]

Dean W. Arnold, the author, sums up by saying his father ended his life the way he lived it: always persevering, always giving his best. Do read the whole thing, it's well worth it.

(H/T: Religion News Blog).