William Edward Jones
1 Aug 1939 – 22 Dec 2008
It was just after 11:00 when he died. Last Monday the 22nd of December 2008.
For some reason, it was important to me to be with him until the end. So, as he left his earthly body, I stood beside him and held his hand. I wanted him to feel the warmth of someone’s touch until he reached the arms of Jesus.
As he slipped away, I began to recall little snippets of the life I spent with my Dad. There are a thousand and one different memories I could share with you. But to put them in context would require a lifetime.
The life I spent growing up in the home of William & Carolyn Jones, was one in which I never once wondered whether my father & mother loved me. That may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but I’ve been all over the world in my life; and I’ve found that a loving home is something special.
During my 23rd year, I experienced a unique phenomenon common to many young men. My father became a wise man virtually overnight.
I came to realize that Dad was the most loving, patient man I had ever met. One day, I asked him how it was that he was able to tolerate me as a teenager for so long. His reply puzzled me at the time, but now that I have children of my own, I am humbled by its profundity. He looked at me and replied “Ron Son… the Bible says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)’ it doesn’t say that in the middle there, he isn’t going to wonder off and do his own thing.”
This was Dad’s view of child rearing; and governed his actions as a parent.
My father believed that the answer to all of life’s questions can be found in the Bible. He spent more time reading his Bible than anyone I’ve ever met. Every morning at 5:30 he’d be up and dressed; sitting at the dining room table studying, and making notes…Though he was never one to advertise it.
This daily Bible study was the source of his wisdom.
You can fake a lot of wisdom just by keeping your mouth shut. But he had an humble spirit that you just can’t fake. Dad truly believed that you should “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)”
My father was a happy man. He loved his wife, he loved his family and he had great compassion for others. But most of all, he loved Jesus, and talked to him every day.
This daily walk with Jesus was the source of his happiness.
As I stood there holding my father’s hand, his heart slowed down to a stop, his breathing faded, and his body shut down.
At that moment, I had what seemed like a strange thought. More often than not, a man grows up to become just like his father, no matter how he tries to avoid it.
I love my Dad, and would count it an honor to be considered half the man he was.
However, Dad would not have that at all. He would tell you it was a big waste of time.
Instead, Bill Jones would say “Ron Son… Be like Jesus.”