The call comes early this morning. A friend has passed away.
Joe was a church member at a church my dad pastored in Mississippi some years ago. Not only did Daddy help him become established in church, but Joe and his wife were dear friends to my parents then, and remained long after their paths parted ways. They took trips together, visited in each other's homes, and kept up on comings and goings through the years.
Even though Joe had been in poor health in recent years, the news of his death hit my parents hard and blankets the whole house with a solemnity reserved for sad occasions.
After breakfast, my dad remains at the table and asks for the phone. He wants to call Joe’s widow to express his sympathy in the best way he can. He was once their “shepherd,” in a spiritual sense, and I know his call will mean a lot. Were it within his power, he would be making plans to attend the funeral
I slip out of the kitchen, so as not to distract, but I can't resist taking a photo. The sight of my dad, sitting in his wheelchair, reaching out to comfort others, as he’s done so many times throughout his 60+ years of ministry, fills me with an array of feelings, impossible to put into words. I fight back tears.
As I make my way upstairs, I hear him say, “We miss him, just knowing he’s no longer here, but ..." His voice cracks with emotion. "Joe’s in good hands today.”
What comforting words … not only for those who grieve, but for all those who remain, who put their faith and trust in God. Dear friends, we’re in good hands today.
Thanks for stopping by and keeping me company. You're always welcome here.