This morning, my family will attend a funeral. Our "building superintendant" at church passed away last Wednesday after several complicating incidents finally culminated in pneumonia, which as for many elderly people, was the last straw. This man was a hard worker, with a servant's heart and a preacher's mind. He was such an example of the saying "preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words"(which I think is St. Francis of Assisi). His quiet demeanor and humility were a blessing to all who knew him.
He and my son shared a special little bond from the moment they met more than 2 years ago. Last summer, on Gabe's birthday, we brought cupcakes to church for the kids to have after the service since we don't have any snacks for coffee hour in the summer. Well, during the service, Wayne put out quite a spread for Gabe-a tablecloth, two pretty trays for the cupcakes and hand-written signs that said: Happy Birthday to the boy, Gabe is 2!!! And, this past year, when Gabe was in preschool, Wayne was known to check in on him through the window of his classroom, and for his part, Gabe never wants to leave church without saying goodbye to Wayne. When I tried to tell the kids about his passing, Gabe said "him at the other church." I said, "honey, Wayne's in heaven"-to which my son succintly replied "yeah, at the other church IN heaven." I guess I should know better by now not to correct my kids in matters of faith.
So, today, the five of us will go to the funeral and remember this man, this servant of God-today for an hour or so, but also forever.