This is a blog of the type that I hate to write. Yet, I always feel compelled to do so whenever there is occasion to.
On February 7, 2016, the day my husband passed away, I met Reverend Zoila Marty who became my boss, friend, and mentor until she was called away to pastor another church in July of 2017. I didn’t see how anyone could possibly replace her.
Enter Pastor Dave.
Has a more humble man ever existed? I suspect his intelligence was near genius level, but if he was aware of it, he never said so. Aside from his love for Jesus and people, he, as a former firefighter and EMT loved anything associated with those things. In January I slipped a late Christmas present of a fire truck 2020 calendar onto his pulpit in Chestnut before he arrived. He never knew (I guess he does now!) where it came from.
With mannerisms and preaching style completely different from his predecessor’s and a calm yet vibrant faith in Jesus, he came to feel like something of an older brother to me.
One memory that easily comes to mind, perhaps because it was recent, is one of the last times it was my turn to streach before the world changed. Some of my words, or maybe something between my words, struck a raw nerve in a congregant at one of the churches; and she had no qualms about addressing it with me in a more than somewhat confrontational manner. Pastor Dave was standing by, and when he saw the outstretched finger poked toward my chest, he was instantly by my side.
The next time I came into the office, there were notes he had placed all over my desk.
Let it go.
Let it go.
Let it go.
I thought I’d entered the transcript of the original Frozen soundtrack.
Do those not sound like the actions of an older brother to you?
During the past six weeks, Pastor Dave and I took turns coming into the office so as to avoid cross contaminating one another. But, for some reason, the week before last, he wanted to spend time working together on our most recent newsletter/calendar. Did he know it would be the last time I would benefit from his wisdom?
We spent about 30 minutes talking, touching on many different topics important to both of us. Before he left, he prayed with me.
In hindsight I am grateful I had those 30 minutes with him.
His death was not supposed to happen less than a week later.
Death is never supposed to happen.
God’s original plan was for us to live forever in close communion with Him.
Therefore, the death of any living being, but especially any human being, creates a hole in the fabric of the world that should not be there and will never be restored in this, what the Bible calls the land of the living and what a couple pastors I’ve known have referenced as “the nasty here and now”.
Our loved ones leave.
One by one.
The older we get, the more of them leave. It never gets easier. The holes in our world become more numerous, the remaining fabric more tenuous, creating greater opportunity for stumbling as we walk around in the relative darkness of the land of the living.
That’s why we need—I need—more than ever all the facets of I AM but right now most definitely The Light. (John 8:12)