“And they compelled one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His cross.” — Mark 15:21 (KJV)
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace …” — Original words and music, Helen Lemmel; additional words by Sovereign Grace Worship, 2019.
Charles Foxworth, 90, passed away peacefully at home in north Louisiana in mid-October after a long illness. “He loved the Lord and always gave him the glory for his joy-filled life,” his obituary read.
Any of us who knew him could have written that.
Dr. Foxworth was asked to bear Jesus’ cross when he was a young man. He accepted and didn’t put it down until a couple of weeks ago. In February 2020, he wrote this to a friend:
“I’m singing, ‘Someday the silver cord will break, and I no more as now shall sing. But oh, the joy when I shall wake, within the palace of the King. And I shall see Him face to face, And tell the story, saved by grace!’
“See you at the house!”
The song he referenced was written by the legendary and prolific Fanny Crosby in 1891. “See you at the house!” was always Dr. Foxworth’s timeless reference to his heavenly home.
No need for him to say that anymore.
“Turn your eyes to the morning
And see Christ the Lion awake
What a glorious dawn, fear of death is gone
For we carry His life in our veins …”
Charles Foxworth became an ordained minister at 18, began a career in education, pastored several churches in Texas and Louisiana, eventually earned his Ph.D., and earned a significant amount of recognition for the impact he had on the thousands of students he served, including those he taught, mentored and influenced at Louisiana Tech from 1971 until his retirement in 1996.
Along the way, he was a Sunday School teacher, music director, supply minister, devotional writer, and most importantly, an authentic encourager and example of a godly man, now survived by Lois, his wife of 72 years, and by their daughter and grandchildren and families and so many friends who will miss him — but only for a while.
“Turn your eyes to the heavens
Our King will return for His own
Every knee will bow, every tongue will shout,
‘All glory to Jesus alone!’”
That long-ago day among the pines in Southeast Texas around his hometown of Silsbee, the teenage son of Steve and Mamie Foxworth was asked to carry a cross. Centuries before, Simon had been asked to do the same on the Via Dolorosa. Neither man could not have known that his life would change on those appointed days. They were both, after all, just passing through. But by divine circumstance, their paths crossed the path of the beaten and bleeding Savior.
Few people run toward the cross. Most of us have to be compelled by the soldier of misfortune, suffering, disease, and any of a thousand other pains and problems. Even then, we pick it up kicking and screaming.
Not Charles Foxworth, and not Simon the Cyrenian. After looking into Jesus’ eyes, after seeing Christ’s shredded back, His crown of thorns, each man knew that, in comparison, the yoke was easy. Jesus always does the hard part, walking with us to the house.
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