Remembering Garfield Jordan

Remembering Garfield Jordan

Today I attended the funeral thanksgiving service for Garfield Jordan (09/11/38 – 16/11/22).

I suppose the number of interactions I have had with Garfield over the past fifty years can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and total exchange time is a matter of minutes. I have had a lot more to do with his brother, Gwyn, and cousin, Andrew. But I do have fond memories going back to my youth when he preached at my church and in the open air, and taught at our youth Bible class. I was aware of Garfield in years that followed, arising from different reports that came my way (it was evident at the service, we knew many of the same people) and as a business man he had a good reputation.

I was sent by coincidence, a few days prior, the above poem, by a friend, which pretty much summarises how things appear to be when past one’s three score and ten-year allocation. Attending funeral services and meeting up with old friends, several of who have visibly aged since we last met, is now a common occurrence. I was glad to have attended what I thought was an uplifting and well attended (4-500 people) service (note to those who I leave behind who might read this and have responsible for my funeral arrangements, it served as a good model). I wanted to pay my respects, be brought back on track as to the true meaning of life and meet up with a dwindling band of old friends, on the one occasion as an old dodderer one can count on this happening. As invariably is the case, a lot came out about the deceased, all of which was positive and yet were consistent with the impressions gained over 55 years.

I wouldn’t do justice to summarise what did came out and the best I could do is give what impressed me. He was a kind man; he was a family man; he was a man of integrity (interesting, given he was an estate agent); he was a generous man; he was a man of peace; he was a resourceful man who kept his eye fixed on the goal; he was a man who could be relied upon in a time of need; he did much while working with young people; he was a man who had an extraordinary sense of fun, and, perhaps most of all, he was a godly man. He had a strong faith and, while I suspect we might not always have agreed theologically, he knew and loved the Bible and the God of the Bible.

Seeing the wide range of folk from various walks of life and church background, who were there wanting to pay their respects to someone they loved and, given the amount of falling out I have witnessed among Christians in recent years over all sorts of matters, a lot of which could have been avoided, I was impressed he saw his priority as building relationships rather than winning arguments and that of dealing with the pressing matter of getting his God given task done. I loved the opportunity given, that several took up, of anyone sharing a short memory arising out of their dealings with Garfield, all illustrating this was remarkable man. One I have (but it was given me second hand) when he led a youth camp in his beloved Lake District, and there was another one taking place nearby that was organised by folk he knew, when he planned a raid. I believe the outcome was hilarious (I would love to hear eye witness accounts).

I wanted this personal tribute to be short and while he is not around to consult, I suspect for readers who are not Christians, he would be encouraging them to turn to the Lord he served. As for those who are Christians, it might be a warm exhortation along the lines: “keep carrying on, bro”. I am grateful that there are still men like Garfield around and I for one felt more drawn to the thought of carrying on.

Garfield was a Christian gentleman! I reckon, when Kipling wrote his famous poem, he would have had someone like Garfield in mind!

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2 thoughts on “Remembering Garfield Jordan

  1. John Simmons says:

    Thanks John and Paul,
    I would have loved to have been there, but important prior commitments prevented it.
    Some lovely memories and tributes to a wonderful Christian bro.
    John.

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