It was a month ago today that I attended what was by far the most beautiful graveside ceremony I had ever witnessed in my life. In the midst of tears and broken hearts there were yellow roses, boxes of Red Hots, a buffet table spread with fried chicken and other delicious treats that were Roy’s favorite foods. To add class that epitomized this man, there were waiters dressed as if they were serving in a five-star restaurant who reverently served the mourners. The day my co-worker, friend and brother-in-Christ, Roy M. Benton was laid to rest, my life was changed forever.
Roy was one of the coolest Christian brothers I have ever known. He did not wear a cross that I ever saw, but his love of the Lord was demonstrated in how he lived. He was kind, generous and wise. He sold houses, insurance, closed loans, played poker and baseball. He volunteered at a men’s shelter and a ministry which helped those less fortunate. But more importantly, without ever having met his wife, all of his co-workers knew that he loved and honored the love of his life, Zeleka. He was a godly example of how a married man should conduct himself in the workplace. With all of his accomplishments he valued his wife and children as his highest accomplishment.
Now don’t get me wrong, Roy’s temper could get hotter than those Red Hots that he loved to snack on, but even when he felt wronged or knew of injustice anywhere his passion for fairness was tempered with gentleness.
When I whined about being “too old” to get a personal trainer, Roy would have none of it. He encouraged me to get healthy. It was as if he had a line into my trainer because everything he said I needed to be doing, my trainer had me doing. I miss my friend. I hope he knows that I have not given up. As a matter of fact, I think I am getting stronger.
Roy was a joy to work with. Even when the pressures of the job would get to me, Roy would remind me with conviction, “Mon, it’s just a job”. God used Roy to minister healing to me when my nephew was murdered. It comforts me to know that Zaair has now met Roy.
Just hours before Roy slipped into unconsciousness, he stood in his “cubicle university” (his words) as I delivered my training update from the night before. He smiled and said, ” You are glowing today, Mon, you are glowing”. He repeated that several times. I do not know what he saw, but looking back, I could see that Roy was the one who was glowing. I believe that the nearer a child of God gets to heaven the more they can see with their spiritual eyes. His last words to me before leaving the office that day was, “Mon, don’t be scared”.
As Roy’s loving wife Zeleka and their beautiful children, Corbin and Ashlyn ended the graveside ceremony by releasing four doves, God confirmed for me that Roy M. Benton was an angel on assignment. The first three doves representing the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit were released and then they flew straight toward the heavens. The fourth dove representing the spirit of Roy was released and it too began to fly heavenward. But then it circled back to where his wife and children stood and then hovered over them for a few seconds. It then flew toward the heavens and then out of sight.
Roy’s Dove did indeed represent Roy’s spirit. Roy’s Dove could not stay bound to earth, but before ascending to the heavens it’s wings covered his family as a reminder that he would always be with them. That Monday afternoon, I could just imagine Roy extending his arm to engage in his signature fist bump as the Lord said, “Well Done”. And I am sure Roy replied, “Yes Sir”.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Rest easy, my brother, I’ll see you when the first trumpet sounds.
Monica C. Holland
Author, Editor & Talk Show Host
Woman of Destiny Magazine Online
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