Wednesday, 21 June 2017

An ordinary man who lived an ordinary life! Ruth Johnson

A time to weep
and a time to laugh

A time to mourn 
and a time to dance


Last month when I reported on a friend who walked into hospital on a Friday afternoon with pneumonia.  On Saturday tests were carried out, the results on Sunday revealing Steve's body was riddle with cancer, and he died on the following evening.  A shock to all who knew him.  Three weeks earlier he’d been fit enough to cycle the five miles to and from church, and besides the odd glass of wine, he didn’t drink and had never smoked.

The ‘thanksgiving’ celebration of his life was attended by at least five hundred people.  Relatives, friends from church, his naval career (when he’d married and had three children) along with colleagues and connections from many years of running his IT business.  People had been drawn to him, a man who lived, talked and walked in the love of the Lord.  And his son, following in his footsteps, spoke of the importance of faith in his father’s life, preached a Gospel based sermon to encourage those who didn't know the Lord to experience the Father’s love in this life, and have their destiny in death assured.

In the ‘Order of Service’ for Steve Sherwin (11 May 1957 – 1 May 2017) I was very moved by the poem written by his daughter in law.  It is, of course, deeply personal to her, but she has given me permission to copy it here because I felt, as writers you would appreciate it.   And, if you do, and would like to read more Helen can be found at:

Dream on Dear One
By Helen Sherwin

Dream on dear brother
Hold your wishes before the Lord,
Where we failed to listen and act,
Go to the one who made it all,
Ask him what, why, how and when
Then reply simply with a nod,
For today you are standing
In the presence of your God.

Dream on dear father,
For in His Kingdom dreams come true,
Enjoy the perfect family,
A ready-made community for you,
Laugh that cheerful laugh, A joy no longer flawed,
For today you are standing
In the presence of your Lord

Dream on dear friend,
Lay peacefully and rest,
Your suffering is over,
Your strong faith won the test,
We thank God that we knew you,
But if we could be sold bold –
Oh we wish you could stay longer
With that ever generous soul.

Dream on dear son,
Let our sadness turn to joy,
Because you’ve taken on eternity,
I’m proud of you, my boy,
And though I ache to see you,
I’m reminded by the Psalms,
That at this moment you are resting,
In your true Father’s arms.
Dream on dear husband,

Be yourself before the Lord,
Though here I’ll always miss you,
I know we’ll meet once more,
A brother, father, son and friend,
There’s so much that you bring,
But today we know you’re feasting,
At the banquet of your King.


  1. Ruth, this is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. That was how it went with my dad. Nothing one day, stage 4 lung cancer the next--for a guy who never smoked, drank, etc, and ran 5 miles a day, ate the most healthy foods, etc. You just never know what's coming, eh? Makes you want to live each day to its best.

  3. A real faith-builder, that poem. It's hard for those left behind when it is so quick, but merciful for the sufferer. May God comfort you all in your grief and shock.

    1. Such a moving story. You never know what's round the corner in life. And what a very moving poem too.