Sunday, July 12, 2015
Sad, but Glad...Reflections on Pal
Pal/Granddaddy/Dr. Wade was one of those people. Those of us still on earth are grieving the loss of him right now. Some from a ministry standpoint--he was such a mighty influence in the missions world, others from a shepherd standpoint--he was their pastor for over 40 years, and others from a personal standpoint--they lost their dad/grandfather/friend.
It's a strange feeling to be so sad and yet so glad at the same time.
As I think of the moment he passed, I have no doubt Grandmamma was giddy with joy at seeing him again and Uncle Bill was standing right behind her waiting for his turn to hug him tight. I know there is no marriage in heaven, but I'm willing to bet Grandmamma has been guarding a plot right next to her mansion--holding it for him (she probably has a 2 liter bottle of diet coke ready, as well). I can also imagine all his friends lined up, waiting to greet him--even Lee Williams--who just got there himself.
As I think about Pal's legacy, I can't help but think that I am one of millions who was personally touched. The love I have for missions and serving, was planted in me in a young age--as well as the love for the Church. I remember how well he took care of our missionaries and that sticks with me now as I serve in my role at a church. And his love for Truth has been firmly embedded in me--I know to turn to the Bible--to see what God says--when I have questions.
Even those who didn't believe the same as him, couldn't help but respect his passion for reaching those who don't know Jesus. He's one of those people that you kinda hope you are not in line after at the Bema Seat of Christ, because it means you will be waiting a loooonnnnng time for your turn.
So family and church, I am grieving alongside you right now, but I can't help but smile--even through the tears--as I KNOW he's home now. I remember many sermons where he talked about his funeral and told us not to cry for him--he was confident he would be in heaven with Jesus and would be ready when God was. This past year without Grandmamma has made him desire to be HOME even more deeply.
And, for those of you who will be at his funeral, just a word of caution--DO NOT say he looks natural. He has threatened many times to sit up and smack you on the head if you do that. HE IS NOT THERE! That body is not natural. He's in heaven, sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to Bill and Bill sing "A Robe and a Crown"--probably making Grandmamma do Karen's part.
"His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant...Come and share your master's happiness." --Matthew 5:21
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." --Jim Elliot