Dr. E.V. Hill on the Death of His Wife (Transcript)

Dr. Tim Clinton: Hi everyone. This is Dr. Tim Clinton, executive director of the James Dobson Family Institute. What unique and unprecedented times these are. The simplicity and hope of the gospel seem a little sweeter, certainly a little more precious during these times of uncertainty. Our hope remains secure in Jesus Christ, and that brings me comfort, great comfort.

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Thanks for inviting us to be a part of your day. We're going to get through this challenging time together. Let's go now to today's presentation.

Dr. Dobson: Well, welcome everyone to Family Talk. I'm Dr. James Dobson, and today's program is very close to my heart. In fact, I've done nearly 8,000 radio programs in the last 43 years, and I want to tell you that the recording you're about to hear ranks in the top five broadcasts that I've ever done.

It features Dr. E.V. Hill, who was a great friend of mine. He's gone on to be with the Lord now, but he was a powerful minister at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. He was married to Jane Edna for 32 years, and he called her Baby, and he loved her passionately. She died in 1987, and we're going to hear E.V.'s message, his eulogy at her funeral.

Let me tell you a little more about E.V, Hill. In addition to being a pastor and a powerful speaker with a booming voice, and you'll hear that, he was a civil rights leader, and a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., and a close friend of Reverend Billy Graham. He loved the Lord with all his heart. If you ever heard him speak from the pulpit, you never forgot it.

Let's go back now 33 years to Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church for E.V. Hill's eulogy to his beloved wife, Jane. Boy, did he love this woman, and you can sure feel it, especially at the end of the message when he is literally screaming in a cry that comes from deep within his heart.

Dr. E.V. Hill: I have not stood as an act of super strength-

Audience: No. Bless him, Lord.

Dr. E.V. Hill: Nor a selfish effort. I have no special strength for this task, but I stand fulfilling a promise that my member asked of me. My member said, "Preach my funeral." I was not only her husband and lover, I'm her pastor. I baptized her, and I shall bury her remains.

I shall preach today from the subject, my wife's death in biblical perspective.

Audience: Preach. Amen.

Dr. E.V. Hill: My text is Job 1:21, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

In my wife, he gave a great gift. She was a gift from the union of great parents. I want to pay respect and honor to the parents of my wife. My wife was well bred.

I want to drop a word. Be careful who your children are mating up with. You can't get no racehorses out of mules. Some of these relationships have to be broken up.

My daughter sitting here fell in love with something that knocked on my door once. He said, "Is Nora Rose here?" I said, "Not for you." "Well, I've come to see her." "You can't." "You mean I can't see her?" "No." "Who said so?" "I did. I'm her father. You don't even look like what I'm looking for." "Now, isn't it her choice?" "No."

Best we can, unless she goes to crazy, we're going to try to give her to something that has some potentials. You've got to break up some things.

Nora come running down. "Was that for me?" "No. That wasn't for you at all." "Well, wasn't that So-and-so?" "Yes." "Well, why did you run him away?" I said, "Because he wasn't for you." She looked at me and she said, "Well, I think he's a nice person." I said, "Go get your mother. I want to ask her a question. I have never had no doubts before, but I want to know now. Are you really mine?"

She said to me once in anger and attempted to hurt me, but it didn't because I was aware of her motive. She said, "I will never marry a man like you. You're a chauvinist. You're a dictator." She said, "You're good for my mother, but never for me."

So I finally married her. I'm the president of the National Chauvinists Association. I married her to the vice president. I could not have been better pleased. I said "You're picking, you're acting like a Hill now."

The Lord giveth. He gave to Dr. and Mrs. John Milton Corruthers a sweet child. She honored her parents. She loved them dearly. She labored beside the beside of her father till death. She kept in her home her mother till death and made her last days her best days.

The Lord gave in Baby a great student. She was trained in the best of schools, and she aspired to become a 'ffeminate woman. It is amazing how a woman who never led a liberation movement could quietly with effeminate approach fill up two churches in one day.

She would often come to my bedside before going to Bible study, Dottie, and she would say, "Do I look alright?" She would say, "Am I pretty?" I had to say yesterday at the funeral home to an empty shell, "You're pretty. You're classy. You're a lady."

She studied and read classic literature. She was an extremist in what was etiquette and what was proper, extreme without being a show.

She accepted Jesus Christ as her savior and the Bible as her guide in all truths. She was determined to be the best moral, spiritual, physical, clean, and appropriate woman ever given to a man. From a child, she wanted nothing to be spotted on her. She wanted to save herself, to give herself to a man. On August the 29th, 1955, 32 years ago, I received my wife only God could give.

Through my wife, the Lord gave. He gave me an encourager. I'd like, if you would give me time, to give you several examples.

I invested in a service station down in Houston. Many of you remember my service station, and I lost my shirt. My wife for one of those rare moments said to me, "Everett, you don't have time for a service station. I wouldn't put any money in that." I said, "I want to do it." She said, "Go right ahead."

When I lost it, I called her and I said, "Well, I've lost the station." She said, "All right." When I got home, she wasn't at the door, and that's always her position would be at the door. I said, "Uh-huh, she's pouting because we done lost this money." I said, "Baby, where are you?" She said, "I'll be out in a little bit."

She finally came out, and I said, "Now, what's wrong?" She said, "Well, I've been figuring up something." I said, "What have you been figuring?" She said, "Well, I figured that you don't smoke and you don't drink. And if you had smoked and drank, you would have lost by smoking as much as you've lost in the service station, so six in one hand, half dozen in the other. Let's forget it."

The Lord gave. I said the Lord gave. She could have broken me at that point. She could have said, "I told you."

I went home one evening at night, and I walked in the door and there were candles everywhere. I said to her, "What meaneth thou this?" She said, "Well, we've been married right at six months, and I just thought we would have a candlelight supper," and that sounded groovy to me. She said, "We're just gonna eat by candlelight."

But she forgot to put a candle in the bathroom. I went in the bathroom to wash my face and cut on the lights, and no light came. I went in the bedroom and cut on light, and no light came.

I went out and sat down. I said, "Baby, did they cut the lights off?" She began to cry. She said, "You work so hard and we're trying, but it's pretty rough. I didn't quite have enough money to pay the light bill, and I didn't want you to know about it, so I thought we would just eat by candles."

She could have said, "I've never been in this shape before." She could have broken my spirit. She could have ruined me. She could have demoralized me. But she said, "Let's eat by candles. We'll turn the light on one day. Somehow or another, we're going to get these lights on, but let's eat by candles."

She was my protector. One week when I received quite a few deaths notices and one night when I received notice that I would be killed the next day, I woke up thankful to be alive, but I noticed she was gone. I looked out the window, and my car was gone. I went outside and finally she drove up in a roll, and I said, "Where have you been?" She said, "It just occurred to me that they put a bomb in that car last night and that if you had gotten in there, you would have been blown away. So I got up and drove it." She said, "It's all right."

The Lord gave. I could go on and on, for like Job, so far as a wife is concerned, I was one of the richest men of earth.

It is because of having been given so much in Baby that the rest of the text seems out of order. Having made up and fixed up and provided for me such a person as Baby was and is, it's almost inappropriate to deal with the rest of this text. We get so used to, "And the Lord giveth," we take it for granted. So when the Lord taketh away, we pitch a temper tantrum.

The sign of Christian maturity is that when the Lord giveth, bless it. Bless it! When he rains down blessings, bless it. But when he takes away, Christian maturity. When he breaks your heart, Christian maturity. When he doesn't give you what you asked for, Christian maturity. Bless it! Bless it! Bless it!

Job said here is the biblical explanation. He said your doctors are only practicing physicians. They're not physicians. They are practicing physicians. Job said, "Here is the explanation. The Lord took away. Oh, bless His name." My text not only provides the explanation of her death, but it provides the proper response that I must have. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

When her illness became serious and when her doctors in private conference said that they could do all they could do, I went into the chapel and I got up two simple words, "Trust me." Now, I quickly concluded that this trust me meant that he was going to heal her as a living miracle, but the Spirit did not say that. The Spirit said, "Trust me."

I said in an argument, I said, "Trust you? What is there to trust if you're not going to heal her?" But the Spirit says, "No." That's not all that he meant. He meant was that he may take her, but "trust me." Amen.

I said, "Trust him and he may take her?" "Yes! This may be it, but trust me. Trust me with Baby out of your sight. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. Now, you've got to trust me here. I can't let you walk with me because I didn't come for you, but I came for her, and you've got to trust me. This mortal must put on immortality. Death must be swallowed up. Trust me."

The Bible says, hallelujah, hallelujah, that this world is nothing compared to the glory of those who trust Jesus. The Bible said, "Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, nor has it been imagined ..." Oh, holy, holy!

Trust me. You think she was pretty, but oh, Hill, you just wait until you see her again. Just wait. Just wait. I said just wait until I get her out of this earthen vessel and put her in her heavenly garment. Just wait until you see her as she is, no more sickness, no more sorrow, no more pain. Just wait! Just wait until we're caught up to meet him in the air! Just wait till it's all over with. Just wait! Just wait till I get through! Just wait! Trust me! Trust me! Trust me! Trust me!

Dr. Dobson: Well, I'm James Dobson again. If you've joined us late, we've been listening to a eulogy by Dr. E.V. Hill given at the funeral of his beloved wife, Jane, whom he called Baby. That was back in 1987. How he loved his special lady. You can feel it in his words all these years later.

I've heard this recording many times in these 32 years, and it always touches my heart, but never more than this time, because Shirley and I will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary next week. That's Thursday, August 27th. I love her the way E.V. felt about Jane. Isn't it remarkable how love can endure through all the ups and downs of life? You know, the Coronavirus has kept us sequestered for many months now, but I've loved just being at home with her. How could that be? I couldn't live with anyone else for more than two weeks without tiring of them, but my relationship with Shirley just goes on and on.

Her maiden name was Deere, Shirley Deere. Our relationship is always fresh and fun. I still like to make her laugh. The incredible thing is that we look forward to an eternity together on the other side.

You know, I really wish I could sit down with many of you today, having heard this eulogy and having been touched by it. Every one of you has got a story to tell, and some of you have recently said goodbye to the love of your life and it's been very, very difficult. Can you, like E.V. Hill, draw comfort from those words, "Trust me. Trust me. Trust me"? God be with you all.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.

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