Our loss is Heaven’s gain

Comment & Observation
By Joe Lee III

     A few decades ago the Lee family made it to their regular pew at the Methodist Church one Sunday.
     I don’t remember, but we were probably a few minutes late.
     I do remember the guest preacher, however. I had not heard him before.
     He preached, and he prayed.
     He prayed, and he preached.
     I had never heard a service quite like it.
     As the service was ending, I asked the Boss of the House, “Is he for real? Is he like that all the time?”
     He was for real.
     Over the next decades I came to know the retired preacher well.
     If you ran into him anywhere, he stopped you and offered a prayer.
     One day I walked into the drug store. He stopped me in the middle of the aisle. We prayed. There were countless other times. Each and every one of them made me feel better. Gave me new strength.
     When my mother died, I asked him to do the prayer at her service.
     After the service a good friend asked me, “Who was that old man who did the prayer?” I told him and he commented, “He speaks directly to God.”
     Indeed. He did speak directly to God.
     Last week Bro. Johnny Dinas died. He was 98.
     There is no doubt this week he is indeed conversing directly with God.
     His friends will miss him greatly.
     The churches he served in Fulton, Tchula, Columbus, Greenville, West Point, Cleveland, Kosciusko, and Tupelo during his 36 years of formal ministry will miss him.
     The thousands he ministered to on a daily basis — no, on an hourly basis — after he retired will miss him.
     Our loss is Heaven’s gain.
     He is home.