I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most wonderful people over the last 40 years. Of course, I don’t remember the first few years of my life during my infant and toddler years. I do, however, remember from age 3-4 forward. I have lived in 4 states, ministered in many churches, and met people who, by the world’s standards were just ordinary people. They may have been last in their class, never on a sports team, and the greatest of all introverts. God defines greatness in a completely different way than we do. When He confirmed His call upon my life to ministry, He showed me I Corinthians 1 – God does not call the mighty or noble but the weak so that He gets the glory.
One of these great people I met was by way of Twitter. His name is Dewayne. We connected last year. One day, He reached out to me and asked about my beliefs. Shortly thereafter, he shared that he was taking ministry classes and needed a mentor. Dewayne reached back out to me and asked if I would be his mentor. I was up front with him that I had been divorced and remarried because some people don’t like that. It didn’t bother him, so we began the mentor-mentee relationship.
Here is what I learned about Dewayne. He was extremely intelligent. As far as a theologian and writer, I feel like he knew and wrote circles around me. He made money proofreading, so I felt a bit inadequate. I quickly discovered Dewayne’s humility and his willingness and openness to learn. He possessed a deep love for Christ, biblical truth, his family, and others. We met by phone every other week and later monthly, geeking out on theology and encouraging one another. While I was the mentor, I feel Dewayne invested equally. In him, I saw an example of humility and contentment (the kind of humility that would despise that I wrote this post about him, but I am highlighting the work God has done in and through his life). By what he shared with me, he was not rich by the world’s standards, but he had Jesus, his loving wife, a roof over his head, and the necessities of life, so he knew he was truly a blessed man. The interactions allowed me a chance to be open about where I had succeeded and failed in ministry and life, and I always left the conversation encouraged and blessed by the fellowship of a dear brother in Christ.
Today, I received a voicemail from Dewayne’s wife. She let me know that He is now with Jesus. When Dewayne and I spoke last, I never imagined cancer would take him within a month. While I will miss our phone calls, he leaves behind a wife, mother, brothers, and other family who will miss and grieve a loved one who was gone too soon.
Life is short. The book of James says it is like a vapor. Dewayne left this world behind at age 42, but he was ready. He placed his faith and trust in Christ, and today he is healed and whole in the presence of the Lord. Whatever stage of life you find yourself in, be prepared to meet God. We never know when our last day will be, so let’s resolve to make each day count and live for the Lord while we still have breath.