Thursday, December 1, 2011

Not defined by employment

I attended an inspiring funeral service for Jim Nevison earlier in the week at Brookdale Covenant Church. I got to know Jim through occasional stops he would make to Brookdale, while he was on his Hostess delivery route.  He was a member of Brookdale, where I had my office with Kinship.  He always had a twinkle in his eye and a ready laugh, and expressed sincere concern for all he met.  Jim his wife and daughters all later became Kinship mentors for a number of children in need. He even played the role of Santa Clause for Kinship during its Christmas activities.

There was a packed house for the service, which lasted nearly two hours, given the plethora of stories shared by a couple of his brothers.  They told of his love for family, softball, practical jokes, music, volunteering, faith, hunting and fishing. What impressed me was not one word was made of his job working with Hostess.  The only indirect reference to his work was the story of when he dressed up as a Twinkie for a softball gathering. He worked to make a living for Hostess, but it was his rich, full life of outside of work that was awe inspiring. He brought fun and joy with him where ever he went, and left those privileged to know him feeling better because of their encounter with Jim.

At the lunch following the service I visited with some of the church elders who spoke of what an outstanding usher and tutor Jim was for the church.  They gave an example of his compassion for one of the people who is physically disabled and confined to a wheelchair.  Jim's exemplified a quote by Winston Churchill, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  Well done good and faithful servant Jim Nevison!

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