Sunday, March 15

Fare thee well, brother I've yet to meet

Isn't it amazing how one person can touch the lives of so many others just by his presence? One such gentleman joined our church family this past October. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to meet him in person, and this is my loss. Though I've never spoken to him, his testimony speaks to me loud and clear through everyone he has encountered. I've yet to talk to anyone who has had the fortune of knowing him who didn't experience joy and love through him.

With the advancement of his years, his eyesight is failing but his vision remains clear; his legs may be weak, but I've no doubt his spirit must dance with abandon with his Saviour.

We lost touch with him not long ago. His Sunday School class and his deacon had attempted contact, but to no avail. We'd known that, at the age of 85, he'd taken a bride. What a smile that brought to us! The heart that belongs to our Lord never ages, does it? Perhaps he was going to church with his new bride and that's why we hadn't seen him for a while.

We received an email this past week from his family updating us on our brother. Pancreatic cancer. Hospice. Only weeks left on this earth. Oh, the heartache!

The outpouring of love in the form of visits and calls to him underscores how very much he touched lives in the short time we've known him. In addition to the individuals who took time to go see him, his entire Sunday School class took the church bus all the way downtown to pay him a visit en masse.

Now tonight, I hear that the end of his earthly stay may be even shorter that originally estimated. I'm grieving (selfishly) that I didn't get to experience first hand the joy I've heard so much about from those know him. I'm sad that so many people will feel a deep loss when he "moves on". Yet, I'm happy that the extreme pain and suffering will be over soon for him, that he will soon see Jesus and be personally escorted to the throne room to stand in the presence of God.

I can't help but wonder...have I made anywhere near this kind of difference in peoples' lives? When people speak of me, are their thoughts and words tinged with just an inkling of the Love and Grace I've received? I'm afraid the answer is no. But his Saviour is my Saviour. His joy and mine spring from the same fount. The Holy Spirit give us both the same capabilities

Does Jesus' love speak as clearly through me as it does through him?

By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 13:35 (NKJV)