by Rev Robert A Wendel
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Now remain in my love. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:12-14)
Recently, I sat in my living room while my house grew quiet. I sat alone, just thinking about a new school year beginning soon. My thoughts floated back to 1958, when I started public school. As it is for everyone, school would be a new adventure with new classmates. Suddenly, I recalled more than a handful of school experiences which didn’t end until 2005. The result of all that was that I learned how to pastor five different churches and work in a half a dozen hospitals as a hospital chaplain.
What struck me about all that was that my life experience has been enriched by every one of these experiences. All of our lives are different as we move in and out of group experiences.
As I reflected, I realized that I do not know where any of my old classmates live now. Scattered over the world as they must be, there is no way to track them down, telephone them, or even send an email. Sixty-three years ago seems locked in the past and secluded in a “different world.”
So, for the next twenty minutes, I “called the roll, saw their young faces in my memory’s reflection, and uttered a prayer for each of my long-lost friends. Somehow, I sensed a spiritual reconnection. And I intuited that all of life is moving toward “sweet reunion” in a dimension that our physical eyes cannot see and our minds cannot comprehend. More than ever, it is true that the people in the Beckley church will always hold a special place in my memory.
“I believe that some obstacles . . . work out for the better because God knows that without those, you wouldn’t be as strong as you are.”
Olympic Champion Gymnast