Cal Jernigan – Senior Pastor
I was recently speaking at a funeral in which I said, “As you can tell the size of a ship by the size of its wake, you can tell the size of person by the size of the wake their life makes.” While the idea of this is certainly not original to me, the truth of it is profound. I was speaking these words in reference to the wonderful man we were burying, Don Goerhing. The wake is simply what’s left behind once the person passes. Don left a huge and wonderful wake.
Unbeknownst to me, about the time I was saying these words about Don, another man in another state died. His family also had to decide how to handle his passing. They made an interesting choice of how to best remember him.
This other man I am referring to is Leslie Ray Charping. Since his death, he’s become quite famous. The obituary of his life has gone viral.
Printed below is his obituary in its entirety. I have made the decision not to remove offensive parts as they were put there by intention of his daughter, Sheila Smith, who wrote the obituary.
“Leslie Ray ‘Popeye’ Charping was born in Galveston on November 20, 1942 and passed away January 30, 2017, which was 29 years longer than expected and much longer than he deserved. Leslie battled with cancer in his latter years and lost his battle, ultimately due to being the horses ass he was known for. He leaves behind 2 relieved children; a son Leslie Roy Charping and daughter, Shiela Smith along with six grandchildren and countless other victims including an ex-wife, relatives, friends, neighbors, doctors, nurses and random strangers.
“At a young age, Leslie quickly became a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive. Leslie enlisted to serve in the Navy, but not so much in a brave & patriotic way but more as part of a plea deal to escape sentencing on criminal charges. While enlisted, Leslie was the Navy boxing champion and went on to sufficiently embarrass his family and country by spending the remainder of his service in the Balboa Mental Health Hospital receiving much needed mental healthcare services.
“Leslie was surprisingly intelligent, however he lacked ambition and motivation to do anything more than being reckless, wasteful, squandering the family savings and fantasizing about get rich quick schemes. Leslie’s hobbies included being abusive to his family, expediting trips to heaven for the beloved family pets and fishing, which he was less skilled with than the previously mentioned. Leslie’s life served no other obvious purpose, he did not contribute to society or serve his community and he possessed no redeeming qualities besides quick whited sarcasm which was amusing during his sober days.
“With Leslie’s passing he will be missed only for what he never did; being a loving husband, father and good friend. No services will be held, there will be no prayers for eternal peace and no apologizes to the family he tortured. Leslie’s remains will be cremated and kept in the barn until “Ray”, the family donkey’s wood shavings run out. Leslie’s passing proves that evil does in fact die and hopefully marks a time of healing and safety for all.”
At this moment, I think Lester is probably rolling around in his grave.
As I have said before, we will all be remembered for something. What will people think of when your name comes up in conversation?
I encourage you to meditate today upon these words these words from Proverbs 3:3-4:
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
We will not be remembered for the good intentions we held in our heads.
We will rather be remembered by the choices we made regarding loving and serving others.
Never forget this—those who know you best certainly won’t!