When I wrote my last post, on Wednesday morning, my pastor was dying. I got the notice that he had passed just before 6pm that same day, and I grieved...and I rejoiced for his entrance to heaven. His funeral was this morning, and my head and my heart have been home to a flurry of emotions for this entire week. I could write that all down again, but instead, I'd like to write down some of the things I will remember about Tim.
I remember the way his eyes danced when he spoke to a child, and I imagine that his eyes are dancing in Heaven, and all the children who have passed before him are clamoring around him to catch the sparkle in those eyes.
I remember the shake of his shoulders when he laughed. It took a LOT to get a guffaw from him, but I imagine that he throws back his head now, his mouth wide open with laughter in Heaven.
I remember that he loved to sing, and I'm a little bit sad that I will not hear his voice again here. But I know that the angels are rounding out his rich baritone as they praise God together now.
I remember the gentle way he corrected me when I needed to improve in the office, always quietly encouraging me to be better.
I remember that he was NEVER too busy to hear me out when I had something to say, even when I was being silly about things. He listened without rushing me, and he prayed for my requests in such a beautiful way.
I remember the first year I was secretary at my church. I was hired in early April of the year 2000. He and Paul, our Youth Minister at the time, took me out for Secretary's Day that same month...he didn't even know if I was a good secretary yet! Still, he took that opportunity to invest in me, and I was encouraged.
I remember him standing before my son and daughter-in-law on their wedding day, blessing them with his knowledge, humor and love, and entrusting their relationship to the Lord.
I remember him sharing pictures of his grandkids, one-by-one, and the way his eyes shone with love for them. Then, when I had grandkids, he looked at my photos too, his eyes shining just as much.
I remember him making low-carb pizza in the toaster oven at church, with a melted cheese crust, that was often burned and pretty smelly!
But most of all, I remember his steadfast love for the Lord, and his great faith. He had faith that could move mountains, and it did. It moved mountains of disbelief in the hearts of many who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior today...I've simply lost count of how many he has brought to Christ in just the past 15 years that I've been his secretary. What a wonderful legacy!
I'm not finished grieving, and I may not be finished for some time. Yesterday, I went into his very quiet office, and I just sat in "my" chair, the chair I would often sink into just before I would look at him, behind his desk, and ask, "Can I talk to you for a minute?" I spoke not a word, but tried to remember the last conversation we had had in that office...I don't know what it was about. He has been out of the office for the past few weeks, and I can't remember our last conversation...but that's not important. The important thing for me to remember is that Tim lived his life according to the Book, doing his best to live the love of Christ in all that he did.
Wouldn't the world be a lovely place if we all lived like that?
See you soon, Chief. See you soon.