, Corbin, KY


January 27, 2014

From a casket a grandmother speaks

CORBIN —   It was the biggest shock of my early years. How can it possibly be? She was an unrecognizable skeletal shadow of who she was. There was something terribly wrong with what was going on. Mourners passing by viewing my grandmother, but she was nothing of what she was.  Beautiful, loving, joyous, and healthy were all my memories of her.  Not a semblance of these could be detected. My grandmother was truly gone with virtually no evidence of who or what she was. She was 62 and I was 11. The year was 1944. For 18 months she had laid in the farm house helplessly victimized by uterine cancer.  Languishing in an unrelenting pain of which at that time there was no escape.

Just 41 years earlier she was the celebrating bride of a young skinny farmer. They started off with nothing of this world’s good. After decades of farm life and toil they persevered and succeeded in providing food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their six children (the second being my mother).

At that young age I was given a true view of life. We’re here and then we’re not.  We work hard all our lives to save our life only eventually to lose it. The soil they tilled, the house and barn they built- all suddenly slipped out of their hands into another young energetic couple determined to “be a success” in the footsteps of my grandparents.

In my young mind, there was something radically wrong with the whole sequence of life and its inevitable ending.  The long years of “blood, sweat and tears” ends up in a big zero?

Over the next many months of my young life the routine of church began to dissolve into encountering a person – a real, loving companion, Jesus Christ; convincingly vindicated by his life so full of miracles. Life on earth was an exciting “once in a lifetime” opportunity to become immortal; to believe the repeated promise of Jesus that he has a Kingdom of eternal happiness for all who spend their years on earth serving one another.

Life makes no sense until the simple and clear direction of Jesus’ Gospel is put into practice; a practice that puts a smile on our faces whether we are an effervescent newly-wed or we are in our final days on a deathbed.

 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of heaven and all else will be given unto you.” [Mt 6:33]

The Rev. John Burkhart  Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of  psychology blog at inspirationsandideas


Text Only
  • LIKE IT OR NOT: MLB's All Star effort was a bust

    With the 85th edition of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in the books, I have to say I feel like the whole thing was a complete bust.

    July 18, 2014

  • THE WAY IT IS: Some local teams can make a run

    Well folks, our Little League All-Star action is beginning to wind down, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see two of the Tri-County’s resp

    July 17, 2014

  • LIKE IT OR NOT: It's been a very busy summer

    While a lot of people would expect the local sports scene to slow down in the Tri-County in the summer time, that’s not usually the case for us here at the Times-Tribune.

    July 16, 2014

  • John Ross.jpg May we all cherish those few WWII vets who still live

    I watch this old BBC program pretty often called “Are You Being Served?” It’s mostly out of syndication — what shows remain can be seen most often through PBS.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0502 Bobbie Poynter So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

    I never have been very good at saying goodbye — family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community — for years you’ve had my back and in turn, I believe I’ve had yours.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie Ellis.jpg ‘Uh hummm!’ It’s been an interesting week

    One column can’t cover everything from a busy week of political events, but here are some quick takeaways from last week.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brad Hall.jpg Let’s multiply our numbers like fleas do

    Last Saturday, my wife, Carmen, and I spent the day at the Kings Island theme park near Cincinnati, Ohio.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Burkhart.jpg Not an earthly trace

    Just married (1897) and in his late 20’s, my grandfather was determined to make a living on a hillside farm covered in wilderness; much as his father had done before him in 1846  when he arrived from Germany.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brad Hall.jpg Col. Mustard with the candlestick in Heaven

    One of my favorite movies is the murder mystery comedy “Clue,” which is based on the popular board game of the same name.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Burkhart.jpg Now or Never

    A story is told of an old widower who decided it was time to find a new wife. He chose to look for this new bride through the obituaries column; identifying new widows.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo