Monday I arrived at a friend's office who employs several church members and more friends of ours (we pretty much know everyone in the office). He has been notarizing papers for our adoption. When I walked upstairs, everyone was in the main office or hallway, all looking somber. My future nephew-in-law, who works there also, informed me that John, our dear friend, had just been taken to the hospital by ambulance after suffering a heart attack in the office about 30 minutes prior. Shock.
I went to the church office to make copies of all the dossier documents to mail. When I arrived, our church secretary came out to meet me. She informed me that she had just finished speaking with our pastor and John had passed away. Shock again. Major. Numb.
She (Libby) helped me make the copies as we chatted and periodically spoke to someone in the office about John. Still in shock. What do we say?
Our pastor returned from the hospital and gave a staff briefing, which they let me sit in on. John's wife, Carol, had been able to speak with him before he died. What a precious conversation. He told her he loved her and he loved Jesus. He was ready. Thank you, Lord. What peace. What comfort. As a wife, wouldn't you want your husband to tell you he loved you and loved Jesus as his last words? I know I would.
John and Carol have been friends of ours for years. Carol's daughter, Leslee, is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met in the fourth grade, and we've been together ever since. Our friendship has been through A LOT and been tested. But I love her so much. Our oldest daughters were born two weeks apart, and they have been friends since birth.
John was a computer genius. I do not use that word lightly. He really was a genius! So, so, so kind. He would help us with all our computer problems any time day or night. Not just us. Multiple other families. He would rarely take any compensation for his help. What a blessing.
John was our sound technician at church. Every service sounded good because of him! He was sooooo talented. Service oriented. Loved by multitudes. I don't have adequate words to express what he meant to our family and so many others.
Carol knows he is with Jesus. What rejoicing is taking place! John's service on Sunday afternoon will be one of praising our Lord and Saviour. Exactly what John would have wanted. I can picture him in the back of the room in the sound booth during choir practice. If we were singing a song that was especially moving for the Lord, he would stand in the back with his hand raised in thanks to Christ the King. Let us all do the same. Blessed be the name of the Lord! "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."