Thursday, December 08, 2011

Until we meet again, my good friend

A friend of mine passed away Tuesday night. I guess he'd had prostate cancer (or some kind of cancer). He was a good guy; one of my favorite people. Even though I hadn't seen him or spoken to him in awhile, I will miss him.

I don't really even remember how we became friends. I suppose it was when I was attending seminary in Ohio. He was the Executive Director of our denomination at the time, and some of my classes were in the same building as his office. I think we also attended the same churches for awhile (one before it closed; and one as it was launched). I also remember that he bought our little Nissan Sentra from us while we were there. He asked how much we wanted for it, I told him, and he wrote a check out for $200 MORE. He was like that. Just a genuinely good guy who always seemed to be in a good mood. One of the best.

We developed a friendship while I was attending seminary, and it continued on as I started to pastor the church I am still at. He was always good to call me every now and then, and email me quite often, and every once in awhile he would just pop in on a Sunday morning. He also followed my blog. He was good at offering encouragement, including me in things and asking my opinion on things - even while he was still the denominational director and I was just a nobody young pastor (when I was young). I mean, he really made me feel like I was important and that he valued my opinion. I can't say that about a lot of people. I guess I used to think that was just a part of his job, but now I realize it was maybe more personal. I suppose that's why, when he retired and went back to pastoring a church, I have struggled with the new Director (and basically everyone else). I guess it's not their fault, apparently I just didn't appreciate the unique relationship I had with Wayne at the time.

Anyway, the above picture is from my 10th Anniversary celebration at my church. They threw me a surprise party, and unknown to me they asked Wayne if he would come and preach for it. My wife knew that's who I would have picked if I'd known about it. So he and his wife drove the 10 hours from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to do it.

I feel a little bad because I hadn't kept in real good touch with him after he started pastoring again. Just an occasional email or phone call. But I will miss him. He was one of the good ones. I hope you have a merry Christmas, Wayne. RIP.

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