My pastor is “dying”. I prefer the term transitioning to his permanent home. He was sent home this morning, from the hospital with Hospice care. He was transported to one of the big hospitals on Thursday. This morning his wife and children heard the words I have heard before. “We’ve done all we can do”.
That very moment is when you start functioning in survival mode. You have arrangements to make. You have to make sure someone is there to care for them. Luckily, this is a family of a wife, 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren who are old enough to help out.
When he heard the news, he told them that he wanted to go home. So they went home. Last report, the nurse was with him where he resides getting him settled in.
We live in a small mountain community and we are a very small but loving congregation. We have been in constant contact for the past three weeks since he got severely ill.
He has been at our church for 23 years. He has driven 50 miles, three times a week to preach to us. He made numerous trips to the same hospital and others when things were going wrong in my world. He has been in my home when we were facing death to let my husband know that he was loved and cared for even when his own family would not come around.
When my husband died, he was right here in my home providing love and comfort.
After making sure my parents were okay after getting the news, I went for a long drive. I was alone and I could cry as hard as I wanted. It was raining buckets almost as if the heavens themselves could feel my pain.
I cry for his wife and his children knowing what they will be facing. I cried for our church, we have a heartache that unless you have felt it, you don’t understand. My tears are not for where he is going. He is heading to Heaven, where his heart and lungs will not be an issue. I cry out of selfishness. I will miss him.
He has been our spiritual leader, our burden bearer, our under shepherd taking care of the flock. You have a tremendous amount of respect and love for him.
We are independent. We don’t have someone to come in and fill that spot, not that anyone could take his place.
So for now, we as a collective group try to carry on. We will have a fill in preacher tomorrow. We do what we have to do to cope. One lady went and rode with her husband in a dump truck so she would not be alone. My mom carried beans to the can house to stay busy. I went for a long drive and had a good cry. We all handle it differently.
My prayer for his is that his crossing be gentle. He has been a faithful servant.
My solace??? I can just imagine my husband looking at him when he crosses and saying “Well Preacher, what are you doing here?”