Honor. On my honor, your honor, in honor of… The on-line definition of the word “honor” list several examples of its meaning. I’ve included the following; Good name; Reputation, Glory or Recognition of distinction.
As Jerry’s widow, I was asked if there were a few things I wanted said when the Memorial Roll of the recently departed would be read.
Gerald Lee Cradlebaugh was a great husband and father; he was kind, thoughtful, loving, respectful, dependable, and hard-working. In addition to his upright character, he was a committed Christian who was saved, sanctified and delivered back in February of 1999. It was unexpected that he went to his eternal home in heaven so suddenly on October 15th, 2009… but he was ready.
Family issues arose in the last couple of days of his life, which caused a resurgence of grief that involved other estranged family members. On the night before he died, he carried those burdens again to the Lord. He spoke out loud as he lifted his face toward heaven and ask God’s forgiveness for his angry feelings towards those individuals. “Forgive me Lord, that wasn’t right what I said . I know you don’t want me to feel that way towards them. You want me to love everyone and to forgive.
” One of the things his brother, Reverend Charles Cradlebaugh had said on a few occasions in the Church of God was, “You gotta love everybody before you go in.” Jerry was ready.
Jerry did not want to follow the line of succession of preachers his family descended from. However, he did preach a profound message that was for those he wanted to be ready. Jerry said that people needed to get ready. Some of the people he knew as neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members weren’t ready. Jerry would pray often and on special occasions would fast and pray for family members; for their salvation, for reconciliation and to be reunited with loved ones he hadn’t seen for years.
For someone who didn’t say much, what he did say about being ready when he lived his final night on Earth was important. Jerry was ready. Some of you that are listening aren’t ready. But you still have the opportunity to get ready by turning from your sin and asking Jesus to forgive you of whatever is keeping you from being ready.