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“I Come to the Garden . . . .”

The cross at Dry Creek's Prayer Garden

In the Garden

It’s always been one of my favorite places.

The prayer garden at Dry Creek Camp.

It was evidently one of Harvey Jones’s also.

He wanted his ashes spread there.

His memorial service was yesterday.  It was a celebration of a richly lived life.  Harvey loved his Lord, his wife Sissy, and his family and it was a time of worship and smiles.

And he loved Dry Creek Camp.

When he fell in love with the camp, he brought his entire church—First Baptist Sulphur—with him.

Today is a warm Louisiana day.  Harvey’s family—who have come to spread his ashes walk down the prayer garden trail, led by his lifelong partner, Sissy.  She’s using a cane but her step and spirit are sure.

Sissy Jones with Tom Bruce of Sulphur. She taught Tom in the second grade.

 

Their only son, Steve, his wife Julie’ and grandchildren Spencer and Brooke walk beside her.

Harvey’s younger brother Bill is a clone of Harvey.  It’s like seeing Harvey twenty years ago when I first met him.  Bill smiles at the tall pines, pond, and the cypress trees lining it.  “I understand why my brother loved this place.”

We pause there and Todd, our camp manager, shares about what Harvey and Sissy have meant to the camp.

Then everyone stares.  What’s next?  We’ve never spread ashes before.

Someone mentions the reflection cross that is the center point of the entire area. Sissy says, “That’s the place.”

Prayer garden cross at dusk Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We all walk the levee, only stopping when a chicken snakes slithers into the underbrush.  I think that Harvey would’ve chuckled at that.

As the family gathers around the cross, I remember the day when the prayer garden cross was born.  It was January 1993.  A Saturday work day.

We’d planted hundreds of trees on the camp grounds.  We ate lunch at the prayer garden and I asked the small group,  “What addition do you think would improve the prayer garden?”

A teen girl pointed across the pond.  “Why don’t you put a cross at that spot? It’d reflect in the water.”

We did and that cross—especially when lit at night—has touched many lives.

At this same cross, Steve Jones takes his father’s ashes and tenderly spreads them. Tears mixed with smiles mark this special time at this special place.

We pray and then Todd closes with the perfect sentence. “Mrs. Sissy, we’ve put Harvey’s ashes at the foot of the cross,  and he’s at the foot of Jesus.”

We walk back up the hill.

It’s a day I won’t forget.

I go back to the song I most associate with the prayer garden:

He speaks and the sound of His voice

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing

And the melody that He gives to me

Within my heart is singing.

 

And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joys we share

As we tarry there,

None other have ever known.

 

“In the Garden”

William Harvey Jones

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William Harvey Jones

Memorial services for William Harvey Jones of Alexandria, 77 years of age, will be held at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Alexandria on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 2 p.m. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until time of service. Curt Iles will officiate. Mr. Jones passed away on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at Regency House.

He was a long time resident of Sulphur, LA and was a faithful Christian who loved his Lord and his family.

He retired from Conoco Refinery after 32 years of service. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Sulphur where he served as a deacon, served on several committees, was a member of Saints Alive Senior Adults, sang with the Agin’ Cajun Senior Adult Choir, a past member of the Silver Strings Ukelele Band, past member of Campers on Missions and served as a trustee of Dry Creek Baptist Camp. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 56 years, Irma Stevens Jones (Sissy), a son, Steven Charles Jones and wife, Julie’, three grandchildren, Barrett, Brooke, and Spencer Jones, all of Alexandria, and a brother Bill Jones and wife Sheridan of Houston TX. He was preceded in death by his parents, E. C. and Audrey Jones.

Memorials can be made to Dry Creek Baptist Camp, Box 580, Dry Creek, LA 70637.

To extend on-line condolences to the Jones family, please visit us at www.hixsonbrothers.com.

 

 

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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One comment

  1. This will be one of those days I remember forever!
    Matthew 12:35
    Praise the Lord!

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