I guess to start I have to say just that one sentence. He was a good man. It sums it up so well for Dwayne. He was a good man. Honest. Full of Integrity, Spirit, and the Joy of God.
He was a good Father too. His kids loved him very much. He was a good husband. His wife loved him deeply. And he was the one Pastor I'd met in Saskatoon that made me say, "I want that man to be my Pastor." The only one.
And so even having only gotten to know him over a few months, I grieve for his loss deeply as the only Pastor in Saskatoon that ever inspired me to join a church. And I thank God that I had the opportunity to tell him that well he was still alive. To tell him that he inspired me and thank him for what I didn't know would be such a small window in my life. I thank God that I went to see him yesterday and I thank God that I sent a bit of peace into the last day of his life, just a little moment of clarity.
I'll fondly remember that day when he got his car stuck in front of my house and couldn't get it out. I'll remember the day this summer when he dropped his cell phone into the paint and I got a picture of the priceless look on his face. The day he got a sporty little new car.
I'll remember the time that someone had just left him standing in the doorway the day they told the church about his illness. I remember the sadness in his eyes, and just hugging him, not saying a word. Watching him fighting back the tears.
I'll never forget the pain in his eyes yesterday. Never. That was when I realized that he'd decided to go, that he knew there was something better for him - meeting the Jesus he never stopped loving.
And I'll never forget the day he told me he was so glad I'd come into his life, and I said I felt the same way about him.
I feel cheated, to say the least. Cheated out of a chance to have another Pastor I loved because of Jesus in him. Cheated not by God, but by a cheating, thieving power that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy anything of value to people and to God. I'm angry at Satan for lying to people so much that God couldn't cut through all that ignorance and bring healing in this case. People gave up on him. And it shows. But I don't condemn them for their ignorance. I rather blame the cause of the ignorance, the great liar who is looking for people he can create a tradgedy for.
Yesterday I came to say goodbye, in a way. More to say, "See you again soon," because I know I will. But not soon enough. Not nearly soon enough.
You'd think that being new to this Church would make me want to leave it now, but I want to stay more than ever. I felt God's compassion in allowing Dwayne to leave without any further days of pain. I knew yesterday when I came that it wouldn't be very long yet. And I love this church family. I've found a place to belong, and that's always been very difficult for me. I love the people at Living Hope. And I plan to stay. I hope God will keep this church together in spite of all this.
I am comforted by the fact that this is only a temporary situation. And by the fact that it won't be very long until I see him again.
2 Corinthians 4
Treasures in Jars of Clay (NIV)
1 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
So I thank God for the times we were able to spend together, and I thank Dwayne once again for inspiring me. I know where he is right now, and that is all the comfort in the world.
*has yet another mug of tea*
EDIT: Everyone should go read the posts in his Blog. http://dhjourney.blogspot.com
(For my own reference) My comment in his blog: http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=13855669&postID=112421861268425327