By Clem Head
The end of my life journey began in July, 2008 when I was 73 years old. Before that time I had been my usual, hyper-energetic self: cutting firewood, playing music, even biking 14 miles. I went to church, and I loved my Lord Jesus, but I have to say that my relationship with Jesus sometimes took a back seat to the things I wanted to accomplish. I was admittedly proud of what I could still do at my age. Then I began to lose my energy. I got fatigued just walking around a grocery store. All I wanted to do was lie around.
I went to multiple doctors who, despite many tests, including an MRI and artery biopsy, came up with no clear diagnosis. All the while I grew weaker and weaker. I lost my voice and couldn’t sing. It saddened me to have to cancel my music shows as I hated to let my audience down.
Then, following a bout with pneumonia that sent me to the hospital, I was lying on our couch and felt a lump in my right side. More tests and another biopsy at last gave a clear diagnosis – I was dying of advanced liver cancer and given 1-3 months to live.
My wife, Diane, held my hand as we got the diagnosis. She recalls me saying “Good thing I know where I’m going. Guess I’m going to get to heaven sooner than I thought.” Since that time, I’ve discovered that knowing your time is short is a gift.
The beauty of the gift is that I’ve been able to draw much closer to God. I’m closer than I’ve ever been to my Jesus and I’m totally at peace for the first time in my life. I’ve been inundated with love and affection from our church families and friends, my former co-workers on the waterfront, people I’ve met playing music and, most of all, my family.
Not everyone is blessed with knowing their time is short. Not everyone gets to know where they are on their life’s journey, but everyone should live like their time is also short. Draw close to God and each other. It is my fervent prayer for you that you read this and accept the Gift.
Love in Christ Jesus,
December 16, 2009
NOTE: Clem Head is a dear friend of mine, and he and his family were among the first converts and members of Open Door Baptist Church. We first met in the spring of 1970. Because of Clem and Irene Head, many of their children, nieces and nephews are saved and serving the Lord. Joyce and I thank God that we were privileged to know Clem. We extend our heartfelt love to Clem and his family.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Brother Head was/is a blessing to our family. When we first moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1974, Brother Head invited us to stay with his family until we found a place of our own. May his testimony continue to bless and encourage others to live for God while they can. Thanks Brother Clem.
Sal and Barb says
God Bless You Clem- praying for you!
This message is so wonderfully to the point, and yet so full of grace and wisdom. God’s truth about not using flowery language holds true in what Clem is sharing with us. I don’t really know Clem, only through friends of friends. Thank you for sharing his faith, obedience, love and peace. Each day is a gift.
Annie Matey-Lee says
Your story has touched my heart. I prayed for you as soon as I read it. Thank you for sharing your testimony. May God continue to give you His awesome peace and give you strength only He can give!
Michele Backstrom-Copley says
Uncle Clem has been a great Uncle to me and my 2 boys over the past 5 years especially. Always asking if I need anything and thinking of us and contributing several times . I have appreciated all his help and encouragement, and I have him and his family in my prayers daily. I am one of those Nieces that came to know the Lord in the 70’s after attending Open Door with the Head family. I thank God for you Pastor and Mrs.Blue.
Thank you for publishing this- it’s beautiful. I was able to visit Clem who is my grandpa recently. We sang together and when we sang “It Is Well” there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Tears were pouring down all our faces because we knew how much we are going to miss him, but the tears were also tears of joy knowing he will one day close his eyes and be forever with Jesus. I will miss you grandpa!!! Everytime I hear “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog”- I will think of you. 🙂
I love you and can’t wait to join you in GLORY!!!!!