May 14 - 20, 2007


A life well lived, well loved

The viewing was supposed to begin at 6 p.m., but at 5 o'clock family and friends started coming. And coming. And coming. They filled the big meeting room in the church basement and the line spilled down the church steps to the sidewalk. They included neighbors, friends, family, people of every station in life, from laborer to the U.S. Congressman from the district.

They came Tuesday night to pay their respects to a ordinary man, Jay Swisher, who lived all his years in a small country town in Adams County, Pa.; who drove a truck and owned a few rental properties; who never was rich but managed to feed, clothe and educate six children; who served in the Coast Guard in World War II but never had much power in a worldly sense; and who died suddenly last week at 79 in his cozy woodframe home with the wraparound porch, picnic tables in the yard and rental apartment on the second floor. 

An ordinary man, and yet hundreds of people came to Jay Swisher's viewing. They came because he lived the values of honesty, trust, love, generosity, family, church and community. He earned people's respect, friendship and devotion. He passed along those values to his children, and they relate to the world the same way, and are earning the same respect, friendship and devotion.

Stewardship of life entails using your energy and your time fully, to the best of your ability walking faithfully on the path of discipleship, in order that you will impact your world and the people around you with the love and peace of Christ.

Each of us can do this well in whatever station of life we are in:  As doctors, lawyers, nurses, home-health aides, teachers, librarians, store clerks, construction laborers, secretaries, fast-food restaurant cashiers, retirees, those on disability or unemployed. We all are called to use our lives for the benefit of others and to the glory of God. 

His family asked that the following motto be printed on Jay Swisher's funeral bulletin:

A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the kind of car I drove or the sort of house I lived in ... but the world may be different because I was important in the lives of my children.

I'm sure that Our Lord will greet Jay Swisher with these words: "Well done, Good and faithful servant." May we all live so well.

--Rob Blezard, Webmaster and Editor
Reprint rights granted for nonprofit use. Please include this notice: "Copyright (c) 2007, The Rev. Robert Blezard, Used by permission."

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