The One Thing That Still Surprises Me
There is one thing that still surprises me after sixteen years of ministry.
It is death.
Death catches me by surprise every single time.
The most recent surprise was the loss of a new member, Carla. Lee and Carla came to us about one year ago. One morning they decided to try a new church. We were the ones who were blessed to welcome them in. Carla and Lee were a love story with a long pause until they were reunited in their senior years. It has been a joy watching them make new friends, discover that it’s okay to laugh in church, and bring their faith questions to the table. Oh, how it did this preacher’s heart good to see them filled with love, joy, and a desire to grow in new ways.
Covid19 has been hard on my seniors. They are tucked away for a long winter’s nap in the middle of summer. I miss them terribly. We have visited whenever safe and possible. Lee and Carla ventured out for our new dinner church. The outside venue allowed them to be safe and still connected. At the last dinner church, they made a point to talk to people and make new friends. They are some of the reasons the Church still has hope.
On Sunday evening, Lee called to say the love of his life was gone. A few chest pains and some tests. Nothing to be concerned. And then she was gone. There is no such thing as being prepared. After 16 years of ministry, it still catches me by surprise. It still hurts. It’s still sad. It still leaves an empty hole in my soul.