Our church just heard of a great loss. One of our community members passed away in the night. He'd been battling cancer for such a long time.
Let me take a moment to tell you about this man. I was so fortunate to know him and to be able to call him a friend! My 70-something friend! The spice of life.
I first met him when Dad and I started working on the Nature Center at church. We had all these grand notions of trails, ponds, gardens, Stations of the Cross, prayer cabins, a prayer chapel...two visionaries with little muscle or know-how. ;) Duane found out about our ideas and came to help...with his 4-wheeler and tractor!! It was a match made in heaven! We literally spent years out there!
Not only did he faithfully serve, he had a quirky sense of humor! He always had a joke. It was always a delight to be playing in the dirt. :)
What I also loved about Duane was that he was my Dad's friend. When you work in ministry, it can be difficult to find people who will let a pastor be a person too. Far too many can get so petty and immature. (Don't get me started!) Not Duane. My Dad, who loves to build, found a friend who loved to play in the mud. They would regularly "go out and play". They were each other's sidekicks.
Some months ago Duane mailed me a letter...even though we saw each other weekly...so cute. He told me about what God was sharing with him at that time and the peace he was finding. He followed that with some great encouragements for me. He was a darling. A gift. I'm better because of his friendship.
I'm going to miss him SO MUCH!!
Sweet dreams, Duane! See you in a twinkle!