I’ve been thinking about a friend I had named Ed. We shared a church family and I still miss him. He died suddenly of a heart attack a few years back. As the weather gets cold and the threat of ice and snow comes, Ed always comes to mind. After a morning celebration of his last day at work and the start of his retirement, he walked into the church and sat at a makeshift cubicle to offer himself as a full time volunteer.
“What do you need?” he would ask. Copies made? Errands run? Coffee? Organize a pantry? Get something for the preschool? Nothing was beneath him and he did everything with joy and humor.
The reason I think of him when winter comes is that Ed had a vision that the church we served would become a Red Cross Shelter. He jumped through all of the hoops and made it happen, and when the ice storm of 2007 hit we were ready to serve our community.
Later, Ed had a vision that the church would become a center for disaster relief volunteers. When the Joplin tornado hit in 2011 I had the privilege of driving with Ed the next day to see what we needed to do to respond. Ed had us take the back roads home to see what had happened in the small rural towns around Joplin. That is where our church concentrated its efforts as Ed organized team after team to go down and clean up.
Ed was always humble. He deflected any attention we gave him. He refused compliments. He loved God greatly. He valued all people. His daughter is now my granddaughter’s preschool teacher. His name is not on a statue. It’s written on my heart. Love goes on, and on, and on.
See you Sunday online,