My Father, George Redman Beyer, passed away last year on July 31. In honor of him, I would like to post here the words I spoke at his memorial service.
All you who knew George, whether it was for 5 minutes or fifty years, knew that he was very kind, calm, patient, slow, methodical, and very intelligent.
He loved history and could remember facts and figures with an almost photographic memory. Most of those official blue and yellow signs you see around the state of PA were written by my Dad. When I was little I couldn’t remember the name of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, so I just told people that my Dad was a Historical Marker Maker. They gave me funny looks.
I got even stranger reactions when I told them that we were Quakers and went to Meeting instead of Church. Dad was always a man of peace. I almost never heard him criticize other people and I almost never saw him get angry.
In recent years, he had to bear with my five wild boys running around the house with nerf guns, squirt guns, and cap guns. Still he was very patient with them. He spent hour after hour after hour reading to all the grandchildren, snuggling on the sofa.
He answered question after question, read book after book. He rejoiced at the birth of every new grandchild and enjoyed them immensely.
This was an intense week for our family. Dad was sent to the emergency room on Monday with blood clots in his lungs. He stopped breathing and received CPR three times. When I saw him that evening, he was unconscious and the hospital was still trying to stabilize him. That night I prayed those deep, desperate prayers. I love it how God draws so near to me in times like these. I felt like He said to me, “This will end in death, but it is OK.” Then I saw a picture in my mind. I saw my dad as a young boy, running in the summer twilight.
On Tuesday the hospital thought they might be able to stabilize Dad and wake him up. Then we received a call that he had taken a turn for the worse, and we better get in there as soon as we could. Again I began praying in the car, and I was desperate with God. I said, “You can’t let him die if he’s not ready, if it is not his time. I haven’t done enough. I haven’t told him enough about you. I haven’t shown him enough love.” Again the sweet presence of God surrounded me and said, “It is already done. I have already done it all. All that is left is to trust me.”
So as we sat in Dad’s room watching him peacefully pass away, I again thought of him running into the arms of his Father. I heard the Father God say to him, “George, it doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do in your lifetime. I want you! You are my reward; You are my pearl of great price.”
Mom told me in hospital that Dad had recently attended a conference at Life Center and loved the Song, “Abba” which means Daddy. (Click here to listen to the wonderful song.) We sang that song in Worship tonight. This confirmed to me that he had a longing in his heart to know God as his Daddy, and now his heart’s desire is fulfilled. He feels for the first time the full strength of the unconditional, all consuming love of the Father. Dad had loving parents and a loving family. Loving relationships are the joy of this life. But they are just the first morning rays of sunlight peaking over the horizon. Now he is standing in the brightness of noonday, and I am so happy for him!
I love how God gives us signs to explain what is happening in the unseen realm. He gave me a sign. My mom had transplanted lot of flowers from her yard to into my yard. The irises and hyacinths have been blooming for many years now, but I have never seen the resurrection lily. I just thought it had died, and I had forgotten about it. But the day after my Dad died, I looked out my window and I saw it blooming!
I love you Dad!