Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When A Friend Dies


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.


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16 comments:

  1. This is a lovely post Dayle, and the message is comforting.
    You are such a gifted writer.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Laura

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  2. Just a note to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. You have a very nice way with words. Always interesting.

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  3. Hi Dayle. Sorry for the loss of your parents' friend. Loved your post and the very poignant photograph, too. Great job. You are absolutely right too. We are all in very good hands, indeed. Susan

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  4. What a bittersweet moment. What precious parents you have.

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  5. Even a pastor grieves knowing the glory beyond.
    A friend is hard to lose at any age.

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  6. That's so touching. So sorry for your loss.

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  7. I love the timelessness of the photo--it could have been taken 50 years ago or 50 years from now--love the light cascading over the dining room chair--adds to the emotion of the picture--

    which is overwhelming--seeing a shepherd who can no longer physically lead his sheep but knowing his heart is reaching out to rescue the one who has just fallen over the cliff--evokes a bittersweet feeling........much more sweet than bitter--thanks, Dayle.............loved this--

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  8. Oh how sorry I am to hear of this loss for all of you. And yet knowing he is in the Saviors arms brings the best comfort. Such a great picture...

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  9. And the best is his now! Blessings to the family and loved ones.

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  10. I'm sorry to hear of the loss and I love your dad's words of comfort. Your words brought comfort to me this morning.

    Love you much.

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  11. Oh I am so sorry for your folks loss. That photo is very sweet. I know your daddy's heart is heavy for his friend.

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  12. *choke* I'm so sorry for your sweet daddy's loss. I can only imagine the host of wonderful memories he has of his fine friend. True, though: he's in good hands.

    Prayers,
    Kelley~

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  13. The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
    You have such a way with words and now I know where you get your insight.
    What a gift your dad is to those he is around and cares about.
    I must remember this when I need to make a hard phone call.

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  14. Dayle, I'm so sorry. This is a haunting yet uplifting post. Blessings**

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  15. Times of grieving makes us realize that this world is not our home...thank goodness!
    Mary Alice

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  16. i can just imagine how much that call from your dad meant.

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle