Life has a way of turning out so different than we can ever imagine. Thirty six years ago I would have never thought I would be the woman I am now… back then I met a man who knew everything about me, who loved me unconditionally and gave me a hope. He met me in a far off land and used a gentle servant, a fisherman of sorts to cast a net and I jumped right in.
This fisherman was a Pastor then, my new husbands Pastor, a mystery to me since I had never been around one or actually knew one. He was sorta scary in a way only because I had been taught to respect people who were In leadership. When I heard his testimony I was overwhelmed by the real ness of his life. He was normal like me. That was impressive to a person who struggled with father figures considering I wasn’t in a good father daughter situation, but he was kind to me… and he seemed to pay special attention to my husband. During the few months that we would only go to a Sunday School class then leave (sneak) out the side door, this Pastor was there telling us bye! Not weird I guess but after that time… after we both found our hearts in love with Jesus, I never one time saw him at that door.. greeting people. Coincidence? Nope… it was for us…..the Lord new we needed the guilt! And he also really cared. Bonus!
Then in later years, he took us under his wing, showed us what becoming a fisherman was all about, the sacrifices, the loneliness; as well as the rush when Jesus just shows up! It is a “magnificent obsession”….to steal a old movie title about this very life, and no one lived it in front of us like our Pastor. He was the real deal and through him I was taught the Bible, he was dedicated and anointed.
He preached nearly a year or more (whew!) on the book of Hebrews, to take line by line and break it down so this young Christian can understand it all. A sermon on the book of Revelation is the one that brought me to my knees and accept Jesus; one on Jacob the deceiver pulled me to the altar to receive the precious Holy Spirit. He helped us find our way in ministry, encouraging us, setting us forth and valued our judgement making us leaders, my husband was wise above his years and our Pastor saw it. He prayed for us, and loved us and even when the pressures of ministry took all his time and he had to really listen to the Lord to know when to be where.. he showed up. My first child was an emergency C-section… and he was there… which was scary because that felt like we were in a lot of danger! All of or special times early in our married life he walked with us through them.. he was God’s hand extended to us… an ordinary couple trying to figure out life then eventually called into ministry. He knew what we were in for and he equipped us the best he could, if we weren’t ready it wasn’t his fault.
So today, on this wonderful day of homecoming our beloved Pastor has gained his reward, he fought the good fight, he put his trust in his Lord to take him at the exact time that was his time, he left this world with no regrets, even in death he showed us how to live. It’s been many years since I have seen him, but the last time I did I thanked him for all he did for us, for loving us through our early stages and for being a Pastor of great compassion. He just smiled and said , thanks. He accepted the call to be a fisher of men, as the Apostle Paul did and we were the blessed fish. Thank you to his family for sharing him, no one knows like we do what kind of sacrifice that is. Pastor, you made a difference….you were important… you done good! This lame attempt is a tribute to you. Thank you Sir!
On a side note.. I have never seen anyone eat really HOT (spicy hot!) Mexican food like you.. impressive!
Rest In Peace Hugh T Statum