On October 16th our long-time friend, Al Jaynes, made his journey home to heaven at the age of 81. All who knew and loved him will sorely miss his encouraging smile and his inspiring words he’d say each time we saw him.
Especially inspiring was his love and devotion to Era, his sweet wife, throughout their 60 plus years of marriage. As a victim of Alzheimer’s disease, Era was faithfully cared for by Al until she went home to be with the Lord only three months earlier.
Al was also the loving father of one daughter and son, Gini and Wade.
When Annie and I got married in 1975 we went to Al & Era and asked them, “If ever there is something we can’t work through as a married couple, can we come to you for guidance?” Being the loving servants they were to folks they quickly agreed to be our help in time of need.
A few years ago as we sat at a dinner table with Al and Era, he asked us, “Why did you never come to us for advice with the stuff you couldn’t work through.” Annie smiled and said, “Because we never had a problem we couldn’t work through!” I added, “But we hope the offer still holds!” Al returned a satisfied smile and assured us the offer was still good.
As a husband, Al was indeed a worthy example of how to do marriage right. The way he tenderly tended to Era as she progressed through her struggle with Alzheimers was an illustration to all of us what it means to keep the “in sickness and health” part of the marriage vows. God knows our culture could sure use a lot more men like Al Jaynes.
Saying farewell to someone as dear as our brother brings a lot of sadness indeed. However, there is one thing that brings comfort to all of us when the waves of the reality of his absence washes over us. That source of comfort is mentioned in the song featured in this post.
In addition, the kind of life that Al Jaynes lived challenges us all to ask an extremely important question…Can we leave the same comfort in the hearts of those we love that Al left for us? May God help each one of us to be able to answer a confident, Yes!
“He Knew The Lord”
Today we told our brother goodbye
Sad are the tears that filled our eyes
But there is a comfort deep in our souls
When it comes to our brother one thing we know
He knew the Lord
He called Him friend
And we have no doubt
The Lord knew Him
They were not strangers
When they met on that shore
O what a comfort it is to know
He knew the Lord
Someday I know my turn will come
When I’ve gone my last mile and my race is run
When my family gathers Lord let it be
What we said ’bout our brother, let them say about me
(Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music, Inc/BMI)
“He Knew The Lord” is available only as a free download at this website.