We had a wake for George tonight. There were a lot of people there. It was really quite incredible that this small guy, a guy that had a problem with alcohol, a guy that never amounted to much in terms of monetary value had at his wake several pastors, a former mayor, a former federal MP, a few doctors, more than a few musicians and a whole bunch of regular family and friends.
A theme wove its way through the evening – the theme of the love of Jesus and the strong faith George had in Jesus. Everyone knew of his faith. And no one there could forget George’s frequent words, “Live for Jesus.”
On one of the last occasions that I saw George, I was downtown at a drop in place. We sat side by side on the sofa and out came his photo album. He had also been the recipient of a bag full of stuff so he showed me some of his treasures. Then he needed a ride to one of the shopping centres and sure enough, before we parted, he handed me a white scarf out of his bag of stuff. I will remember George each time I see the scarf and be reminded of his overflowing generosity. Out of the little he possessed, he gave much.
He would often tell me of his need to have his dentures relined when we met. “George,” I would say, “Just come by the office.” But he was deathly afraid of dentists I think. Even me – as a dentist. So he never came.
Some people strive to leave a big legacy by which they will be remembered after they pass on. George did it. This world has been enriched by his presence, by his cheerfulness in the face of adversity and by his friendship and love for people. The lot he was dealt in life could have left him bitter. He reminds me of the person to whom the master gave 5 talents who went out and multiplied them. George took the life he was given and invested it in people and in love and from that small and hard life came a multiplication of blessing which he passed on to us and to all those he met along the way.