The Day After

Well, I got through Saturday, thanks to a ton of grace and, I’m sure, a lot of prayers and support from people like you. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and for all the lovely emails and comments that were so encouraging.

It has been a most difficult week, especially following my return from Europe. Sara and I returned home last night and went to bed at 8:00. I don’t recall ever having been more mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted! But strangely Sara and I both felt full spiritually, knowing we had seen God’s hand unfold in some amazing ways and had completed the things he had asked us to do. It was hard to leave Louise, but we know God has others nearby to come alongside her when we can’t. Today was a day of rest and reconnection as we have simply vegged the entire day. It’s been wonderful and so desperately needed.

A week ago I was in a grassy field in Ireland with believers from all over the world celebrating an amazing week of sharing our relationship with God and finding new and growing relationships with each other. One week later I was back in my old hometown facilitating my best friend’s funeral. What I didn’t say in my earlier blog is that the funeral was held in the facility of the congregation I used to pastor before being unceremoniously resigned nearly 13 years ago. I find it fascinating how God brings things around full-circle, and thought my friend might have been smiling down at us in the irony of it all. But these people couldn’t have been more gracious in offering their facility and helping with all the arrangements.

I definitely felt strange standing behind a podium I had spoken from so many times before in more pleasant circumstances, looking out on faces of people with whom Sara and I used to share such rich fellowship and joyful laughter. Though some tragic circumstances years ago we got separated in our spiritual journeys. It took the death of a mutually loved brother to bring us back together for another moment in time. Perhaps something more enduring will result from this weekend. I certainly hope and pray so. We may not see ‘church’ the same way as they do, but the church Jesus builds does not depend on that. It simply results from people who will share honest and loving friendships together.

I am more and more convinced after my time in Ireland that the body of Christ takes expression as simply a network of friends, and the friends of those friends! I realize that may take more explanation at some point, but I’m way too tired today. It was wonderful even if for a weekend to connect with people that we had loved so much and had so often laid down our lives to serve. It would be a wonderful legacy of this weekend if some of those relationships were restored in Christ.

For if the death of our earthly brother could bring us together for a weekend, then wouldn’t it be true that the death of Jesus, our older brother, would be more than sufficient to bring us together for all time? Stay tuned!

Share this Post!

Related post

16 Comments
  1. Marcie Marziali July 9, 2007 at 6:54 am

    So glad to hear that this “tragedy” shows the fruit of LIFE! What a great revelation that the death of an earthly brother bringing family together can show us how much our older Brother can also bring the Family together and so much more! Thanks Wayne for being a “listener” and sharing that with so many of us, your brothers and sisters.

  2. Marcie Marziali July 9, 2007 at 9:54 am

    So glad to hear that this “tragedy” shows the fruit of LIFE! What a great revelation that the death of an earthly brother bringing family together can show us how much our older Brother can also bring the Family together and so much more! Thanks Wayne for being a “listener” and sharing that with so many of us, your brothers and sisters.

  3. George Hill July 9, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Wayne,

    Thanks for the upates: Gina and I were not able to make the trip for the Saturday service…….

    I have had a flood of wonderful memories of Paul and Louise; their love for one another and commitment to loving others, and the ways they expressed that love…….and memories of you, Paul, myself and many others playing competive volley ball together, early in the morning, well into our late 40’s.

    I will join with you in the hope of the legacy of restored relationships…….

    George Hill

  4. George Hill July 9, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Wayne,

    Thanks for the upates: Gina and I were not able to make the trip for the Saturday service…….

    I have had a flood of wonderful memories of Paul and Louise; their love for one another and commitment to loving others, and the ways they expressed that love…….and memories of you, Paul, myself and many others playing competive volley ball together, early in the morning, well into our late 40’s.

    I will join with you in the hope of the legacy of restored relationships…….

    George Hill

  5. SteveW July 9, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    My life hasn’t left me much time for blogging lately Wayne and I am just catching up to the recent events you have written about here. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. May Father continue to extend even more grace to his wife and to your family and all the others grieving for his passing. I am sure that your other friends of many years were touched deeply by your words of love and grace and the hope and encouragement that they surely offered.

    Much rest to you my friend.

  6. SteveW July 9, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    My life hasn’t left me much time for blogging lately Wayne and I am just catching up to the recent events you have written about here. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. May Father continue to extend even more grace to his wife and to your family and all the others grieving for his passing. I am sure that your other friends of many years were touched deeply by your words of love and grace and the hope and encouragement that they surely offered.

    Much rest to you my friend.

  7. Richard July 10, 2007 at 3:06 am

    Wayne,

    When I read this ‘I am more and more convinced after my time in Ireland that the body of Christ takes expression as simply a network of friends, and the friends of those friends! I realize that may take more explanation at some point’ it made me cry, and the thought came to mind, what He has joined together, no man can separate!

    I look forward to hearing more of what Father has been making real to you my brother.

    You are LOVED!!!!!!!

    Richard

  8. Richard July 10, 2007 at 6:06 am

    Wayne,

    When I read this ‘I am more and more convinced after my time in Ireland that the body of Christ takes expression as simply a network of friends, and the friends of those friends! I realize that may take more explanation at some point’ it made me cry, and the thought came to mind, what He has joined together, no man can separate!

    I look forward to hearing more of what Father has been making real to you my brother.

    You are LOVED!!!!!!!

    Richard

  9. Melbourne Sue July 11, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Wow, Wayne. How healing for you.

    I wonder what your best friend is doing right now 🙂 There would be so much he would be wanting to tell you, I’m sure 😀

  10. Melbourne Sue July 11, 2007 at 3:06 am

    Wow, Wayne. How healing for you.

    I wonder what your best friend is doing right now 🙂 There would be so much he would be wanting to tell you, I’m sure 😀

  11. Charles Graham July 11, 2007 at 7:25 am

    It’s awesome what Daddy can do even in the midst of a loss. I had a similar thing happen at my son’s funeral with my ex-wife and her family. Our Father is so amazing. It is so great to see what He’s doing for you at this time.

  12. Charles Graham July 11, 2007 at 10:25 am

    It’s awesome what Daddy can do even in the midst of a loss. I had a similar thing happen at my son’s funeral with my ex-wife and her family. Our Father is so amazing. It is so great to see what He’s doing for you at this time.

  13. Cheri Reedy July 12, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Wayne and Sara, it was a wonderful experience for me to be with you last Saturday. Now we have another brother that we worshipped with that is in residence in the heavenly land with the Father waiting for us to show up. I do hope that I can be of some service to Louise in the future after she regains her bearings. I was always blessed in their home and it is a home that the grace of God prevailed in. Love, Cheri

  14. Cheri Reedy July 12, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Wayne and Sara, it was a wonderful experience for me to be with you last Saturday. Now we have another brother that we worshipped with that is in residence in the heavenly land with the Father waiting for us to show up. I do hope that I can be of some service to Louise in the future after she regains her bearings. I was always blessed in their home and it is a home that the grace of God prevailed in. Love, Cheri

  15. Yolanda Montgomery July 16, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Dear Wayne and Sara,
    We were very touched to the heart with your openness about losing your dear friend on this side of life.
    We too have lost a very precious friend just a week before. She, Marilyn was a joy to our souls.
    I was pondering what it would be like to be on the other side in the arms of Father and our beloved Jesus. Though this is something we can not fathom, the fellowship that we shared in His light is a small glimpse.
    We are truly grateful for time we were given before she passed into His arms.
    I miss her deeply, but I can not stop entertaining the thought that she has won her prize; her goal has been realized face to face. Her journey has ended in His presence with the fullness of joy and pleasures forever.
    May the tenderness of our Father’s love rest gently on your hearts.
    Love,
    Yolanda (for Ron also)

  16. Yolanda Montgomery July 17, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Dear Wayne and Sara,
    We were very touched to the heart with your openness about losing your dear friend on this side of life.
    We too have lost a very precious friend just a week before. She, Marilyn was a joy to our souls.
    I was pondering what it would be like to be on the other side in the arms of Father and our beloved Jesus. Though this is something we can not fathom, the fellowship that we shared in His light is a small glimpse.
    We are truly grateful for time we were given before she passed into His arms.
    I miss her deeply, but I can not stop entertaining the thought that she has won her prize; her goal has been realized face to face. Her journey has ended in His presence with the fullness of joy and pleasures forever.
    May the tenderness of our Father’s love rest gently on your hearts.
    Love,
    Yolanda (for Ron also)

Comments are closed.