This was written on Friday..
This morning we received word that one of the dearest individuals we've ever had the privilege & pleasure of knowing had taken his final breath. It is in memory of him that I share the following.
Lester was 89-years young. Almost every week, he would be at the physical church building to volunteer his time doing whatever needed to be done. Whether it was stuffing worship guides or doing mass mail-outs - he could be counted on. Given the size of our local church body - we could be talking 1,000 plus here.
Lester was married to Erma. One day as they were preparing to leave the physical church building, Lester stopped to talk with me. That conversation has stayed with me since January of last year, as does his smile, arms around me, and the feel of his check as I would kiss it. Lester and his wife knew my daddy. They loved him deeply. No question, he loved them as well. Lester said to me, "You know Camey? Until your daddy came along, I do not think anyone but my wife knew what my name was. Your daddy made a point to call me by name every single time he saw me." Lester cried while standing there at my desk.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name....
A couple of weeks ago, Lester was put in the hospital. It was arranged by his wife for me to spend some real time alone with him. Lester & I talked as in-depth as two like us could about the fact that Jesus was already talking with him about it being soon. He told me to be sure to tell everyone to be thankful whenever it happened. I have and will continue to. As I held his hand & rubbed his head with a washcloth, he would drift off and on asleep. What a privilege to be by his bedside during those moments too. Death & dying for the Christ-follower is not something that should be feared.
Today the phones at the physical church building rang off the hook due in part because of word spreading about his passing. I think it is safe - more than just a few of us know well the name - Lester. He also trained others like our three sons how to do what needed to be done after he was gone. I can also tell you that Lester loved Jesus. He was a good and faithful servant. And as he took his last breath - there was ONLY ONE whom he truly cared knew his name. I have no doubt he knew well the sound of his Master's Voice.
Sunday evening - Visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. at Wiley's.
Monday morning - Celebration Service at 11:00 a.m. at Wiley's too. Yes, at Wiley's.
14 hours ago