Posted by: Jim Black | November 21, 2009

Melody Roach

Services for
Ms. Melody A. Roach
Gallant Funeral Home
November 19, 2009

Welcome & thank you for being here
Let me say welcome and thank you to everyone for being here today. I know that Melody’s family is SO appreciative of all of the hugs & well-wishes and especially the prayers which have been lifted up on their behalf. I can tell you that means a great deal to them right now as they are going through this very difficult time.

We are here not only to honor the memory of Melody Roach but to celebrate her life… because that is what we believe she would want for us to do. She would not want us to be downcast… she would want us to be upbeat and joyous about her life… because she was. Her life had not been without its twists & turns, but she had never let life’s disappointments keep her down. She was a person who was full of life itself… and she wore a joyous and infectious smile wherever she went just to prove it! In fact, if she was in charge of this service, she might insist that there be dancing because that is one thing she loved to do so much… and was such a reflection of her personality.

Our hearts were broken on Saturday as the news spread to all of Melody’s friends and family of the horrible accident. Of course our thoughts were immediately with Amberly and the injuries that she had sustained. But we were just heartbroken over the news of Melody. I’m sure the first thing most of us did was to offer up a prayer… even if it had been a long time since we had talked with God. And for Mr. Jess and Cindy… my heart just went out to them. I cannot imagine the pain that the both of you have felt in these last days. I hope that the endless stream of friends who passed through these doors last night… the warm words… the caring voices… and the thoughts reflected from this service today will comfort you in some small way.

When Cindy asked me if I would do Melody’s service, I really did not know what I would say. What do you say in moments like this? Words just don’t quite seem to be enough. And no amount of words can really & truly summarize a person’s life… so I won’t even attempt that. She grew up in our church family, she & Amberly, but had grown up and moved off before I came to know the family. She would pop in occasionally when she was home visiting the folks and had recently moved back in at home, I understand. Yet even while I had not been around her very much… I could not help but know that she was a beautiful young lady (on the inside as well as out) who loved her family… and loved life! What do you say to someone who has lost such a dear, sweet sister/ daughter/ friend? I went to the Word of God… and I thought about the story of David.

David was without a doubt a great man of God… the greatest king to rule over Israel (God’s people) and the standard bearer by which all future kings came to be judged. He is the only man ever described in the Bible as being “a man after God’s own heart.” And I thought about the personal tragedy that he experienced in his life when (in 2 Sam 12) he lost his son, who was only an infant. David had prayed. He had fasted. He had pleaded with God not to take his son’s life… and despite all that David had done… the child had died. Most of us can only imagine how that feels… some of us know. I imagine he felt helpless. I imagine he felt angry. I imagine he felt guilty. I imagine he may have even felt hopeless. And I imagine he must have had a lot of questions… “Why had God allowed this horrible tragedy to occur?” “Why couldn’t it have been me instead of him?” “How could a loving God do this to me?” Aren’t these the questions we still ask when bad things happen… when there are things we cannot understand?

Well, what did David do?
2 Samuel 12:20
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. NIV

What? He ‘worshipped’? What do you mean, ‘He worshipped?’ His child had just died and he went to the Temple and offered worship to God? That’s what it says. Why would he do that? With all of those questions bouncing about in his head… the doubt, the anger, the frustration. HOW in the world could he ‘worship’?

Well… moments like these are the moments that drive us to our knees. They are the moments that remind us that we really are NOT in control in this world… and that no matter how hard we try to cheat death… we cannot. These are the moments that cause us realize just how badly we need God. These are the moments that prompt us all to stop and reflect.

Reflect on the fact that… Life is a precious gift of God!
At the creation after God had created the heavens & the earth… the seas… and the skies… on the 6th day the Bible tells us that he created man and breathed into him the precious “breath of life.” The psalmist would sing…
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalms 139:14 NIV
Life is precious because it is the gift of God… and Melody was a precious gift of God… anyone who knew her knew that!

But oh, is it so brief!
Whether its 25 yrs or 85 years in the big picture of things… it is tragically too short!
Psalms 39:5
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Selah NIV

Hebrews 9:27
27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, NIV

As shocked as we were to hear the news about Melody… its news that will one day come for each and every one of us… regardless of who we are. Its not the number of days we get on earth that ultimately matters… its what we DO with those days that really counts! And Melody made every day count. She loved life and lived every one of them to the full. I heard somebody say in a movie one time, “Every man dies, but not every man truly lives.” I think we can say that Melody truly lived.

Appreciating the brevity of life ought to move each of us to make the most of every moment… Melody did that… always smiling and making friends wherever she went.

And you can tell that in the response from all of her friends & family… I’ll bet I counted 100’s of postings on Amberly’s Facebook page… hundreds of folks who poured through here last night & this morning… people who loved her and are oh, so going to miss her! She loved her friends, too… especially her ballroom friends with whom she could be found almost every weekend. She loved her family… her Daddy (Share Jess’ story about her ring) She loved her siblings… and I know was especially close to her twin sister, Amberly. They were known for playing the old switcharoo… just to mess with folks… or to see if anybody would notice.

With the loss of such a lovely young person… you might ask… “How could we possibly worship? How could we possibly sing a song of praise in this moment?” I sort of think about it this way. When I was a kid, whenever I got hurt… whenever a bigger kid had pushed me down or hurt my feelings… whenever I was upset or confused about the world… I always knew I could crawl up in my Daddy’s lap & just let him hold me. He wouldn’t even have to say anything… just being there… in his lap… made me feel better. His was a strong shoulder to cry on… and his arms were just gentle enough to make me feel better and yet strong enough to hold me tight. He didn’t have to even explain everything to me… I probably wouldn’t have understood his grown-up explanations anyway. It was enough… for him just to hold me. (I still feel like doing this sometimes, don’t you?) I think that’s exactly what David did. He went in to sit down in his Father’s lap… so that God could hold him a while.

Like I said… I don’t have the words to comfort this morning. But its my prayer that all of you, (Jess, Jess jr., Cindy, and especially Amberly) can crawl into the arms of our Heavenly Father… let him wrap his arms around you… and hold you… carry you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. NIV

… let him carry you. Do NOT try to carry this burden by yourself!

And one day… well John saw this vision of the way its going to be ONE day…
Revelation 21:1-5
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” NIV

and I can’t wait, how about you?



  1. Wow, Jim. What powerful words. I don’t know this family. But I’m sure that these words from God’s word brought a measure of comfort to them. Thanks for posting them.

  2. You captured in one sentence Melody’s true nature, “if she was in charge of this service, she might insist that there be dancing.” Thank you, Jim.

  3. I am an old friend of Cindy and Jess’s from Farmerville, Louisiana, where the twins were born. Our boys were great friends. Please give them my sympathies and let Cindy know I would love to be in touch. Thank you so much, Lisa Preaus, 158 Baughman Lake Drive, Farmerville, Louisiana 71241. or facebook-Lisa Preaus

  4. […] Melody Roach November 2009 3 comments 5 […]

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