This past weekend we had a wonderful family reunion. In fact, we just got back to our house a couple hours ago. I will post about that in my next post, but for now I need to write what is really on my heart.
On Friday afternoon, as Theo and I drove to Indiana we got a phone call. One of those phone calls that I will never forget. I was doing a word find. Theo was timing me…we were seeing how fast I could do it. Looking back, that does not matter at all. Because the phone call we got reminded us of life and how precious it is, how quickly it can be over.
God called our pastor, Rick Wilson, to heaven on Friday morning. It was very sudden, very unexpected.
There are so many words to explain how we all feel about this.
Hurt, pain, mourning, grief.
Trying to figure out how to rejoice for him that he is in eternal glory with the One he loved.
Unsure of where to put the next foot as a church body.
Theo and I just started going to the church two years ago. Part of me feels like I hardly knew him. But I did know him, I went through membership class with him. And I can’t believe that he is gone.
Pastor Rick calling us into membership at church.
Another part of me mourns for what I didn’t know of this man. I felt like we were just getting started at the church. Theo and I had mentioned once or twice our desire to pursue missions, and we were planning on getting together to talk to him about all this. Over the past two days, I have heard and seen so many testimonies of the friend, shepherd, husband, witness and preacher that he was. My only regret is that I didn’t know him better.
This morning at church there was a not a dry eye in the room. I cannnot believe the pain that comes with this physical death, yet the hope that comes with knowing Pastor Rick is in heaven, finally receiving the words he lived to hear:
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Please be in prayer for us. For Theo and I, as we are just learning how to mourn.
For the church, as we seek to mourn corporately and also as we seek that whole “what comes next” issue.
And for the family, who feel deeper pain than anyone. That they will mourn as they should, but that they would keep their hope in Christ alone.
This is a song that “we” sang in church today. I say “we”, because I certainly could not sing it through my tears!
It is not death to die,
To leave this weary road,
And midst the brotherhood on high
To be at home with God.
It is not death to close
The eye long dimmed by tears,
And wake, in glorious repose,
To spend eternal years.
It is not death to bear
The wrench that sets us free
From dungeon chain, to breathe the air
Of boundless liberty.
It is not death to fling
Aside this sinful dust
And rise, on strong exulting wing
To live among the just.
Jesus, Thou Prince of Life,
Thy chosen cannot die:
Like Thee, they conquer in the strife
To reign with Thee on high.