My phone buzzed and woke me up this morning at 6 a.m. It was a message from my pastor: “If you don’t mind, we are gonna have our wise man this morning. Is it OK for you?” Attached was a video from one of my late husband’s sermons.
If I don’t mind…What could I say? I loved hearing my husband preach. Having videos of his face, his voice, his sermons is a treasure for which I cannot thank the Lord enough.
The problem was I would have to translate it. This is not the first time I’ve done it, and since I got through it the first time, surely I could do it again, right? Is it supposed to get easier?
I didn’t have the answer, but I knew that I had someone who could help me, so by His grace, I said, “I guess so.”
You may know from earlier posts that we’ve been facing attacks in our church. Satan has been working overtime to discourage us. I’ve felt it, the pastor has felt it, and others as well. Before we began the video, the pastor shared how he usually receives a word from the Lord at the beginning of the week and works to develop it before the following Sunday. But this week…it just was not coming. I knew it was the discouragement that was weighing heavy on him.
So, he said he woke up early and starting listening to my husband’s sermons. He had been his mentor, his spiritual father, his encourager, his friend. From the several sermons he listened to, he chose one that was so typical Raouf. It was very evangelistic and also very encouraging; it was also based on one of my favorite passages in Matthew 11:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I moved to the front of the sanctuary after I started the video, so I could hear his voice and focus. As usual, I found myself trying to keep up with my fast-speaking husband, but managed well. I knew the sermon. I translated it the first time round.
At one point, he probably realized his translator was getting tired, so he switched to English. He would do that to give me a break, when he knew I was struggling. I was able to stop translating and just listen. All of a sudden, I found myself smiling and laughing at something funny he’d said. Then a single tear dropped.
He switched back to Arabic, and I picked back up. I got through it, and thanked the Lord that many people, who had never heard my dear husband, were able to benefit from his life still.
And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
What will speak from my life after I’m gone? Will it be the love I’ve showed in Jesus’ name to a stranger? Will it be the words I’ve put on a page to His honor? Will it be the life of one still living that I’ve led to Christ or discipled?
Technology brought my husband’s voice to life, but while my words may not be recorded on a device, I ask myself if they will be recorded in someone’s mind and heart. Will my faith in Jesus still speak after I’m gone?
Grace and Peace