On February 7 we had a funeral for a faithful brother in the Lord, who had spent his life here in Barstow and operated his Body Shop for more than 30 years. Although Rod was an extremely humble and quiet man, the week following his passing would show the type of man he was.
Tuesday morning we posted on the church Facebook page that Rod had passed into the hands of our Father. Over the next few days, coming up to the funeral on Friday, more than 1,300 posted and over 6,000 viewed the posting – many of which said they were coming to the funeral with their Hot Rods which Rod either built or helped build.
Friday the entire front of the church was covered with dozens of Hot Rods (including Rod’s Sweet Peach, 1951 Ford F-150), dozens of Harleys, and all of the trucks from a local towing company that closed for the afternoon to attend the services. As people began to pour into the church, we continued to hear testimonies of how Rod had fixed this or that for free or next to nothing, or how he’d given someone food, or how he’d dug through the trash for things that the homeless could recycle – and the stories went on and on. We continued to hear words like humble, compassionate, gentle, and so on, and then it hit me. These people may not have known why they were so attracted to this incredible man of God, but the reason is found within God’s Word – Col 3:12-13… clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. In this quiet, humble, gentle man, they had seen Jesus.
By the time the service started, our sanctuary – which seats 158 people – had more than 300+ people. Our fellowship hall was also filled with people watching the service on our closed circuit TV system, and there were people outside the building trying to hear or get a glimpse of what was going on. As I write this, the tears again roll from my eyes, because I have seen the evidence of how one gentle, loving, faithful man of God can make a difference in a community – even today – in this dark world in which we live, and I praise God for the life and example of Rod Carson.