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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Held in mercy's hands

Eternal rest grant him, O Lord; may your perpetual light shine on all your saints

O blessed saint, now take your rest; a thousand times may you be blessed. Thus was my September prayer as we laid my father to rest on a hillside just west of Warren, Ill.

On a brilliant autumn day, we committed him — LaVern Henry Miller — to the eternal mercy of God, which long had held him. A tractor, grain wagon and a combine provided a fitting backdrop across the wire fence surrounding Elmwood Cemetery.

Yet today gratitude, not grief, most grips me. An irrepressible urge to say "thank you" wells unbidden from hidden depths of my soul. Thanks, I say, for the courage of small things that my father's life personified. This is not a small but a great courage, rooted in a profound faith.


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November issue

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