Linda Heyes - Funeral - 1943

FUNERAL SERVICE - LINDA L. HEYES

Milltown, Washington

July 26, 1943

Called home to be "With Christ" July 24, 1943

 

(Speaker not named)

I will read some verses from John 10.

Verse 11, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep."

Verse 14 - 18, "I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

 

In Hebrews 13:20, the Lord Jesus is spoken of as "that great shepherd of the sheep."

 

In I Peter 5:4, He is spoken of as "the chief shepherd."  Here, in John 10, in speaking of Himself, He said, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep."  In this chapter He is speaking of shepherding, of Himself as the pattern shepherd, and of the marks that should characterize His undershepherds until He returns again. He said, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep."  This loving, giving, sacrificing, suffering for others was the one outstanding characteristic of His life and His ministry. The apostle Paul, in writing about Him, emphasized this fact over and over again that He "gave Himself" fully, literally, for others. "He gave Himself a ransom for all."  He "gave Himself" as an atonement for the sins of all; "He gave Himself" as our Redeemer to redeem all, and in Ephesians 5:2, he tells us that He "gave Himself" to and for all as an example of self-denying and self-sacrificing love for others.

 

In the portion of Scripture which I have read you will have noticed that three times He uses the phrase, "I lay down My life."  In the 15th verse He said, "I lay down my life for the sheep;" in the 17th "I lay down My life that I might take it again;" and in the 18th, "No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."  He laid down His life voluntarily and cheerfully for others, and in this too, as the Good Shepherd, He left an example for all His undershepherds. Every undershepherd's life is a life laid down.

 

This life we have, which we call our own, is our most priceless possession. It is brief, it is uncertain. We have just one life, and one life only to live. We sometimes sing,

 

                            "I have only one life on the earth,

                            and as vapor it's passing away.

                            I must labor for treasures of worth

                            ere all toil ends at close of the day."

 

The man or woman who gives his or her life gives all. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  John, in commenting on this in his first epistle, said, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

 

This loving, giving, sacrificing for others was exemplified in the life and ministry of our sister who has been taken from us. She, too, in following the example of the Good Shepherd, as one of His chosen undershepherds, laid down her life cheerfully and voluntarily for others. It was this loving and giving and sacrificing for others that made her life a song of inspiration, of comfort, and encouragement to all who knew and loved her.

 

I received a letter a few days ago from one of her fellow servants and it contained a paragraph which I will read to you:  "Among other qualities, I have particularly admired her courage in moving in and out amongst us with no mention of the serious condition of her health, and carrying on her work as God's servant as if she had not this anxiety overshadowing her. This has been a great lesson to me and I have tried to profit by it."

 

There are those who when in trouble or difficulty pity themselves. It may be for loss of property, loss of filthy lucre, or loss of health; but Linda, carrying a burden that few understood, never pitied herself nor appealed for sympathy to a human soul.

 

Many who are here today will forever thank God that she left her home, her country, her relatives, her all, for Christ's sake and the Gospel's. Had she not done so, they might not now be in the Family and in the Kingdom of God.

 

Our sister surrendered to the claims of Christ November, 1908. She went forth to give her life and lay it down in preaching the gospel in March, 1913. She came to the U.S. in September 1919, and with the exception of two brief visits to her homeland, labored for about 24 years in this land and for the people that she learned to love so dearly.

 

Most of you here today will remember her last message to us on May 9, in the Burlington High School Auditorium. She told us that what she was about to say was her personal testimony of what she had proved of God in her own life and ministry. I knew that morning that she was not physically able to speak to us, but she insisted, and her brave and gallant spirit enabled her to do so. I believe now, that she must have felt, this may be my last opportunity of speaking to those gathered here whom I love so dearly, and I will do so, no matter what the cost.

 

I was given a few days ago the notes of what she said on that occasion, and I do not think it will be out of order to read over to you the Scriptures she used in seeking to convey to us what was in her mind and heart that morning. She said she wanted to speak to us about things that would not fail. She reminded us that we are living in a world of failing things. Our heart, flesh, our spirit may fail; our faith may fail; our vision may fail, but there are things -- there is One that faileth not. She read some verses from Lamentations 3:22 - 23, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness."

 

She emphasized the fact that He knows and understands us; pities us; He knoweth our frame and remembers that we are but dust. He knows the circumstances under which we live our lives; knows the power of the enemy that is arrayed against us; and we were assured that, "His compassions fail not and they are new every morning."  I Corinthians 13:8, "Charity never faileth."  Love never does fail and God is love. His love is unchanging and never failing. She quoted two of the verses which we have just heard sung; and I feel that in quoting these verses she had the thought in mind that she might never again see those to whom she was speaking:


              "My Saviour's love shall never fail

              Till I am safe within the veil;

              When life has ended here for me,

              Lord Jesus, I shall dwell with Thee.

 

              Although unworthy of His love

              He has prepared a home above

              Where souls redeemed shall live in peace

              Their joy in God shall never cease."

 

 

She read Psalms 89:33 - 34.

Deuteronomy 31:6 - 8, the last message of Moses to his successor, Joshua.

Joshua 23:14, Joshua's testimony at the close of his life.

 

She closed by reminding us of the exceeding great and precious promises scattered throughout the Word of God and read those words in Matthew 6:20 - 21, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, etc."

 

Many of you will remember how she pointed out the danger to the people of God, of paying too much attention to things material -- laying up treasure in this life and forgetting the more important, the eternal value of laying up "treasure in Heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."

 

I was told some time ago that on her last visit to her homeland, at the farewell meeting before returning to the U.S., she seemed to have the premonition that she was looking into their faces for the last time. She read some verses from Revelations 21, and emphasized verse 4, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away."  She spoke of that heavenly City, the New Jerusalem, that City Foursquare, where there will be no more weeping, no more sorrow, no more pain, no more death, no more tears, and no more night.

 

We are gathered here this afternoon to pay one last tribute of love and respect to all that is mortal of her whom we loved so dearly.

 

To one of the sisters watching over her towards the end, she sent a message to her Mother. "Tell Mother 'goodbye' and that all is well." What she said in that last message to her Mother she would say to us all today. "Goodbye -- all is well."

 

Linda is no longer with us -- she has gone to be with Christ which is far better, and will adorn that Heavenly city throughout the ages.

 

We would this afternoon on behalf of all gathered here, express and will seek in some way to convey to her beloved Mother, sisters, and brothers our deepest, truest sympathy at this time.

 

It is for us who remain to dedicate our lives afresh to Him who loved us and gave Himself for us, and endeavor to follow faithfully the noble example that has been left to us in the life and ministry of our beloved sister.

 

                                                                      **********

 

HYMN - - - - - "A FEW MORE YEARS SHALL ROLL" - - - Congregation.

 

                                                                      **********

 

Reuben Bennett (reading for John T. Carroll)

 

Before separating today I would like on behalf of my fellowservants, to express our gratitude to Mrs. Silvernail for the use of her home on this occasion, but especially for the kindness to Linda and companions during the last few years. Milltown had a big place in Linda's heart. When I returned to Portland after making some of the arrangements for today, she asked, "When am I going to Milltown?" She did not realize how soon we would be taking the frail tabernacle in which she lived, back to the place she loved so well.

 

 

We would also like to thank Mrs. Carbary for giving Linda and companions a home in Seattle last winter. Few in Seattle realized, as some of us did, that Linda was then a dying woman and was giving the last ounce of her strength in seeking to help them. We cannot easily forget Mrs. Carbary's love and her hospitality. It was the widow's mite; it was her all, and she gave that gladly and cheerfully.

 

Then we are grateful to Phyllis Pearson for her love and devotion to Linda during the last two trying months in Portland. One of the doctors said he had never seen such devotion to a patient during his whole career. The loving care of Phyllis lessened in a very large degree Linda's suffering, and for this we would express our deep gratitude today.

 

To Mr. and Mrs. Samways, who so graciously placed their home at the disposal of those who cared for Linda, we would also express our deep thankfulness, as well as to all the friends in Oregon and Washington who ministered in so many different ways.

 

The devotion of Rose, Gladys, Bonnie, and Dorothy, early and late, night and day, during these two long months added much to Linda's comfort and peace of mind, as she waited for the call; this never will be forgotten. We are grateful to them and thank God for their love and devotion, and for you all.