Mother’s column: Uncle Keith had a working life, but has gone into the sabbath now

15-01-2022

Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo Unsplash

Keith Chaplin recently passed away. I have not seen any obituaries in the papers. Not surprisingly: he was a modest, hard-working farmer, who lived on the same farm all his life, tilling the same land year after year. These people’s deaths usually do not make it to the press.

I don't even know which age he reached. Almost seventy maybe? I only read an unofficial obituary on Facebook. Uncle Keith, who found Jesus very precious and was loved by many has reached the end of his journey to meet his Saviour, a cousin wrote.

Badminton with the boys

I knew Keith from our holidays in the English countryside. Our first holiday we stayed in a part of the old farm where he was born and raised – he lived next-door with his wife and two sons. We played badminton with the boys, went to Sunday school, and after the services we had conversations with the friendly church members in our best school English.

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Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

Even after we had seen all the tourist outings in the area three times and crossed the picturesque villages in the area at least ten times, we kept coming back. We value beautiful holiday destinations, but here we learned that a holiday is only really successful when you meet beautiful people.

Keith was such a beautiful person. Not necessarily from the outside, although he radiated warmth and friendliness. You could tell from his slightly weathered face that farming was hard work.

Especially at harvest time. That period he was on the land until late at night. Even the weekly prayer meeting, when the men took turns leading the prayer, he sometimes missed.

Sabbath on the Lord’s day

But Sunday was holy. Then work would come to a standstill, whether rain was expected or not. "The Lord's day," they consistently called the Sunday. Or, in the prayers leading up to the Sunday morning service, "this sabbath's day."

Although we realised it was not a real sabbath, we felt that these people were serious. Not only on the Lord’s day, by the way. In a shed on Keith's farm, an open Bible lay by the tap. So that in the midst of all the hustle and bustle he could read a few verses while washing his hands.

Keith's working life came to an end. Now is the Eternal Sabbath.

This article was translated by CNE.news and was previously published in Dutch magazine Terdege.

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