Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Battle Over

On January 13th my hero went to heaven. Robert Christian Hueni was my father-in-law and a man I held in the highest honour. He lived a life of profound faithfulness and godliness in the little town of Bremen, Indiana. He was never featured on a giant stage, never wrote a book and never sought the limelight. But let me tell you, the man could preach, and pray and write - letters. Thousands of them by my estimation. Showering the world with the Gospel wherever he could.
I will have much more to say about him in the days ahead, but for now I am posting a poem I read at the family funeral. Dad loved poetry and we had a habit of writing to each other in verse - mostly silly, sometimes serious. This time, I get the last word.

The words were prompted by my reflection on David's lament for Saul and Jonathan after their deaths in battle.  That is found in 2 Samuel 1.

The Battle Over
“How the mighty has fallen
in the midst of the battle”
Who stood there unshaken
By the Enemy’s prattle (Eph 6:13)

So few are so faithful
As that man on his field
Who drew his sharp sword
His ground would not yield (Eph 6:17)

From youth he accepted
Both his place and his lot (Ps 16:5)
Said, “I’ll seek to be faithful
With all that I’ve got.” (Mt 16:24)

With that he marched forward
In Zion’s great army
And wrestled with enemies
Dark and alarming  (Eph 6:12)

Some outward, most inward (Ro 7:22)
With prayer and with fasting (Mk 9:29)
He clashed in the strife
With blows that were lasting (Ro 8:13)

Eyes set on his Captain (Col 3:2)
He listened for orders
And helped to expand
Sweet Israel’s borders

[How many citizens
Of that blessed mount (Ps 69:35)
Will credit this messenger (Ro 10:15)
For proclaiming the Fount?]

Assaulted and battered
To Jordan’s dark shore
The last strike the fiercest
From Babylon’s Whore (Rev 17:6)

Yet with jaw set like flint
To resist that Pretender (Rev 19:2)
He whispered a final,
“Never Surrender” (Heb 12:4)

A true son of Bremen
He fought like a lion… (2 Sam 1:23)
Then breathed his last breath
And stood white-robed in Zion! (Rev 6:11)

Yet, I’m broken to lose you
My friend and my brother
Jonathan-like love (2 Sam 1:26)
I’ve had for no other

“How the mighty has fallen”
You’d reject the word, “mighty” (1 Tim 1:15)
And tell me to man up
And not get all flighty

But I’ll mourn for my David
And rejoice in the grace
That carried you through
To behold His pure face (Rev 22:4)

And I’ll seek to follow
The example you’ve left (Heb 13:7-8)
Never forgetting
Nor forever bereft

But thankful and grateful
I saw your great story
And eager to stand
With you, brother, in glory. (Rev 21:3-4)