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Parting Letter

Rev. Carl Burnham, beloved pastor of the Chapel on Fir Hill in Akron, Ohio, wrote in 1962, just prior to his Homegoing,

“When I die, if my family wishes to inscribe anything on my gravestone, I would like it to be the promise of Jesus Christ in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” For in due season the springtime will arrive...Then, when the resurrection sings itself in the robin’s glad song, and bursting buds defy the death grip of winter, and you walk upon the yielding earth near my grave—remember that my soul is not there, but rather it is absent from the body, present with the Lord. And somewhere, the atoms that make up my brain, my heart—my body—will be sending out resurrection radiations of a frequency too high for any earthly Geiger counter to record. But if you place the meter of God’s Word alongside that cemetery plot and adjust the settings to Hebrews 13:5, you will receive this reading: “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

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