Gone From My Sight

My Uncle Roddy (Rod Fuller) died unexpectedly on Sunday. I went to attend his funeral yesterday and was asked if I would participate in the service by my aunt. I ended up sharing a poem that I first found when I entered ministry about 12 years ago. This has become one of my favorite, non-Scripture, funeral resources… It is the image that has been most helpful to me…

Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length,
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says,
“There, she is gone.”
Gone where? Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast, hull and spar
as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load
of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
“Here she comes!”
And that is dying…
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