Betty’s husband is Michael Craig, one of my dearest brothers in Christ and an exceptional family law attorney. Michael’s eulogy for his bride, Betty, was the best I have ever heard. That says a lot, as I have lived long enough to have attended innumerable funerals and memorial services.
Betty died recently from Alzheimer’s. Godfrey Hubert, The Foundry’s Retired Senior Pastor and Spiritual Leader, in his words of tribute, in summary, said, Betty died. Her body suffered a mortal death. Yet, her life, her love, and her body of work live on in us. In all the lives she touched as a world-renowned Pastor, Minister of Music, Choir Director, and Founder of the Houston Choral Society, she was so much more. Blaire Baker, Betty’s granddaughter from New York, sang “I’ll Be Seeing You.”. Our hearts melted and our warm wet tears puddled in our eyes when we heard a “Duet of Pie Jesus” performed by Sonja Bruzauskas and Nancy Curtis Hairell.
Betty and Michael had prepared for this day. They prepared for Betty’s death. A death that will certainly come to you and to me. The extent to which Betty prepared for death and the extent to which she touched others with her heart and her life’s work of music in song, wind, string, percussion, and love was reflected in the large number of performers who came from far and near to the celebration. But this prayer is not to recite the amazing accomplishments of Betty Devine, who is in the presence of the One Most Holy and Divine in Heaven.
(To learn more about Betty, here is the link to her obituary. https://www.legacy.com/…/name/betty-devine-obituary… )
Being spiritually prepared to die is all of this and much more. It is seeking in prayer to know God’s purpose of your creation. With God’s help to live that purpose every day. It is in sharing your God-given talents with others, like Betty Devine did, that your life goes on living in others after death—just as Betty’s gifts to the members of her beloved Foundry Choir and Houston’s Choral Society are now magnified and shared with us in their performances.
God has spoken in Scripture about being prepared to die in order to live in Christ.
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
You make known to me the path of life;
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, in prayer please help me know what I need to do and say to prepare for my human death.
God, in the divine mystery of my birth and my death, I know by faith that You have a plan for me.
God, please help me to know the purpose of the life You have gifted me so that I may faithfully live out that purpose in service to You.
God, after my death, may the light of my life continue to shine on Earth in the works of others who know You and Your love through me.
God, I thank You for the peace of knowing that Your love for me does not end on Earth. Through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, my death is the birth of my eternal life with You in Heaven. Amen
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If you want to purchase for yourself or a friend a copy of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love or Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation or Divorce, please click here to go to Amazon.
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.
Photo credit: Michael Craig
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