One year ago today our friend Luanne King's funeral was held. I had the honor with Johnny Richards of Mountain Creek Baptist Church to conduct her funeral. Here is what I said about her during that service of worship.
Luanne King that night in 2006 when shebrought Luke his train table.
Wow, what a woman Luanne King was! Everyone who has known her or met her has remarked at an intensity in her personality, a strength, a perseverance that went beyond what they had often seen. Luanne was a fighter.
Suffering is a byproduct of this sinful old world. God is not the author of suffering. Our sin is. We often think of suffering as something to avoid, but the book of Job teaches us that suffering is used by God as a witness. God demonstrated Job’s faithfulness to Himself to the entire spiritual realm by the suffering Job endured on earth. God actually honored Job as one of His most trusted servants to entrust the suffering to him, that Job would demonstrate faithfulness to his Lord.
Job of course is a Messianic figure. His suffering prefigures and points to the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 12 that Jesus “for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame” (Heb. 12:2). The Lord saw beyond His suffering on the cross to redeem the lost souls of men and women to the glory that was to come afterwards. Hebrews 12 reminds us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” The writer encourages us to “Consider him” so that we would “not grow weary and lose heart.”
The Lord used Luanne in much the same way, from childhood Luanne suffered many things. Why did Luanne suffer so? We will never know on this side all the whys, but we do know one. The Lord could trust Luanne to honor His Name in the midst of suffering. Luanne kept trucking, kept enduring, kept the faith, kept honoring her Lord, and this evening she knows the glory that was set before her. Luanne King is an example for us of how to endure many trials with grace, to endure, to be faithful under duress. In the midst of everything, Luanne honored and praised her Lord, gave Him the glory, recognized Him as sovereign.
And then in the short time we have, there is another thing about Luanne that bears recounting. She was generous. If Luanne knew of a need, she worked hard, despite her own pains, to comfort the pains of others. Luanne had a drive to serve others, to minimize her own discomforts and disabilities and do everything she could to secure whatever someone needed. She would often call us wanting to know what someone in the church or community might need because she was headed out or already at a store somewhere ready to bring home what was needed. When Luanne heard of the need, she gave her personal computer to a West African church planter friend of ours with Christian Revival Church Association in Liberia.
Luanne was also attentive to people’s simple wants, too. I remember when our firstborn was a toddler who was really into Thomas the train, and she showed up one day at the parsonage with a train table for Luke. He was thrilled, so much so that in the years since, the train table was an essential part of our living room décor. Hundreds of hours have been played around that train table now, and there are hundreds to go. The most used toy that our children have was purchased by Luanne King because she paid attention to what others like or need.
Luanne was a fighter. She was a giver. She was a fine example to us of how to live an overcoming life. In the days ahead as the food and people drift away and you are left with that hollow place and a lot of silence, as you mourn well, remember that example Luanne has given you, an example that points to the only true hope on this planet, Jesus Christ and his one-way salvation, and follow in her footsteps.