The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference

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Last Saturday I attended the funeral of a dear aunt. Her name was Eunice Smith. Her name was likely not left behind on any huge certificates of deposit or deeds to any very valuable houses or lands. Her name is important, though because it was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 3:5) and any document in any bank safe surely pales into insignificance when compared to this eternal document written by God Himself.
Several observations from the funeral struck me as being more profound than any from most funerals I attend. It was not hard to hear the sounds of past family reunions as I looked out over that audience and saw so many with whom I could remember those fun times when our extended family got together. We never got together to eat, though we ate. We never got together to reminisce, though we remembered. We never got together to watch the ball game, though I can remember several times when there was a radio plugged in somewhere on the premises and folks would be periodically checking the score. (Okay, in a few cases, some were never very far from the radio.)
But we got together to sing. Somebody brought books, though we could have sung without them.  We had several people who could sing each part and then some.  There’s a City of Gold, Beulah Land,  Remind Me Dear Lord, All the way My Savior Leads Me and The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference…and lots, lots more.
About a week before Aunt Eunice died, it was discovered that her heart was failing and the decision was made not to try any drastic treatment, because her body and spirit, at the age of 94, were both ready to leave this life.  But she was very cognizant of what was going on that Friday and on her last day of consciousness, she said, “We need to sing!” And so, from that hospital room, there issued forth, for a couple of hours, some of the most beautiful singing this side of heaven. It could be heard up and down the hallway. But that’s really no wonder, since it could also be heard by the heavenly angelic host that surely was gathering in anticipation of bearing her soul from that room to the eternal place of bliss (Luke 16:22). And as they listened, they heard Aunt Eunice sing every single word of every single song. Just too sweet for this life, but surely a foretaste of the one she is enjoying now.
Soon after this, Aunt Eunice lost consciousness, for the most part. She would have short lucid moments and it was during one of those when, as I understand it, she opened up her eyes and said, “The Old Rugged Cross made the Difference.”  Well, yes. Exactly.
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