A true short Testimony, submitted by a River friend:
It may have been a local thing, but in my childhood years when someone died it would be reported (by name) “……has gone”. A number of times as a child I saw the look on the faces of my mum and dad as they used that phrase.
I didn’t realise the significance at the time, but for some they would say (by name) “…has gone to be with the LORD”. (I soon found out why)
Nowadays it is “passed away”, or “passed over”. Whichever way we put it that all has a sense of finality.
I think I may have told you this before but when we were children we were at the end of the Portland Bill, near to where they craned the fishing boats from the sea up to the clifftop.
A crowd had gathered and it was a sunny evening, my memory is that it was a Sunday after chapel. Not realising what they were doing, all I saw was the crowd and one man in swimming trunks near the cliff edge, with the sea far below. In my childhood innocence I took my eyes off of the man for a few seconds and then turned as the people all said, “He's gone”.
I had heard this exclamation before looking for him but there was no sign of him. Matter of fact child style, I assumed that that was what happened when people died. They vanish! Gone!
Even after all these years I still I remember the joy when I discovered that the man who had “died” was the same man being hoisted up and over the cliff face ready to do it again. What a relief
Sadly, one day we will all face moments when someone somewhere looks to his family “he's gone” or “she's gone”. Best that we’re ready.
What a joy it was when a few years later I realised my need for Jesus and I gave a heart, life and soul to HIM. HE gave me the promise that when my body dies, I will go to be with HIM. Safe forever, and because HE died, I don’t have to.