It is a gray day in Ukraine! Wet, chilly and miserable. A melancholy day for sure; we call them puzzle days. A hot cup of coffee, a 5000 piece puzzle and a wind driven drizzle all add to the ambiance of the moment. I don’t mind it right now as it perfectly reflects my present emotions. Being still in a state of denial at the loss of our friend, co-laborer, pastor and leader; it’s these kinds of days which give you the reflective insight needed to put all the pieces together. It takes time, do not rush or try and force pieces into the wrong places.
During this season of sorrow give place to the Holy Spirit’s wooing. Find comfort and consolation in His warmth. Find time to sit and reflect, talk, reminisce. As chicken soup is good when symptomatically you’re physically out of sorts. This too in sorrow is an opportunity to remember and embrace the times we had with a man we all respected and loved.
On the 14th we are heading back to NYC and Times Square Church to say our earthly goodbye’s to David Wilkerson. I thank God thousands were impacted by his ministry in one way or another. We are all dealing with the raw emotions at his sudden death. But I am finding certain gem like qualities about him that are making their way to the top during these gray days. There will no doubt be many good and wonderful things said about him. But if I never get the chance to say publicly the things I deeply feel and which are important for other to know, I will at least be able to communicate them in writing. These are my recollections, but as I look more closely at the reflections I see hundreds of other faces. Faces of you all as you too attest to having the same love and affections.
This man, whom we called Bro. Dave; slight in stature, mighty in God, had the most unique way of making you feel the most important person on earth. I know he had friends and acquaintances in high places, but never once did I feel belittled in his company. In fact quite the opposite; he went out of his way to introduce me to those men and women of notoriety as though I were one of them. I am sure this is exactly the way sinners felt with Jesus. Nobody was despised in His presence. You considered it an honor to know Him as your friend. It was this quality of Christ in Bro. Dave that I will try to emulate wherever I go.
We will all cherish certain moments we had with him, whether up close or in a crowded auditorium. I consider it a wonderful privilege having had countless moments with him and Sis. Gwen. Some of them so very personal that they are talked about by only Noline and I. They will be cherished as long as life permits.
Do not be too quick “to get over the loss.” Life is too short and it cannot be all a mountain top experience. Grieving the loss of a loved one is good and must not be denied. It deepens you. After all grief is God’s gift to mankind in order to healthily deal with loss. There are a few emotions with which we all deal with in life. At some point or another you experience them all. This one called grief is the God given way we cope with sudden loss.
It is in these moments, valley’s if you like, where we have a chance to settle our deepest thoughts. Like the Psalmist David said in the 23rd Psalm and which were the contents of Pastor Dave’s last recorded written words. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” Take your time to grieve. While some may unintentionally rush you through the process, to get you to the other side of bright sunshine and beautiful colors, remember it is in the valley where the lily grows. Don’t trample the exquisite in unnecessary haste. Don’t risk dysfunction later on. The quiet satisfaction of a puzzle piece well placed after a long search is priceless. Take a moment right now, say a prayer for the family, reflect on the honor of knowing David Wilkerson, and if a tear should fall; let it.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Ps 42:11 KJV).