Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” John 13:27b
And just like that, he was gone. Most of you know I started writing Grits last year at the very beginning of the COVID hot mess. I woke up one morning and just decided to share a story and just like that Grits was born. Since then, it has been my privilege to share stories from my life and adventures with others—especially my wife Judy. Over this past year so many of you have become members of the Grits family—faithfully reading and often sharing your thoughts and words of encouragement. It has been a great ride and I’m looking forward to sharing more as God gives me writer’s grace.
One of the most faithful members of the Grits family was a friend I knew through ministries at church. He helped in several different ways, and I learned to appreciate his heart. He was a regular reader and every day he would comment on that day’s story and more than once his words encouraged me to keep tapping the keys on my computer. He loved people, he loved God and he loved God’s creation. If you saw Tim, you would see his love of nature…you might say he wore it. He looked like a mountain man and had a mountain size heart to match. He was a bit different but that is what made him special.
Last Monday I wrote about Freedom Day…the date our state was finally declared open and largely free from the restrictions that had been in place during COVID. Let me share part of what he shared that day. He wrote, “Another awesome message!! The key words to always remember are “He’s got this”! I do not intend to hold onto the fear of last year, I intend let it go! I am running forward!” He went on to share how during COVID he had learned an even deeper appreciation for the beautiful creation around him. You might say he learned to look for the good and not the bad.
That was Monday. Tuesday morning, Tim woke up with a terrible headache and his wife took him to the hospital. The bottom line is Tim had a massive stroke and a couple of days later he went to be with the God he loved. Just like that…he was gone. Tim was only seventy years old…a good, wooly, mountain man, nature loving, people loving seventy. And, I guess in his own way, he did exactly what he said he would do. He let go of any fear and ran forward…right into the arms of Jesus.
I will certainly miss Tim and his contribution to the Grits family. I am grateful for all he did to keep me pressing keys. I’m also thankful for a lesson he brought home to me. It was something I knew but need to be reminded of again and again. That lesson is this fact—we don’t know about tomorrow. For some reason, I have been tossing around the thought that I will do this or that when I turn seventy but truthfully—seventy may never come. Tim’s home-going is a vivid reminder that we should not wait—we should go—we should do.
It is a scripture totally out of context, but it is a good reminder. When Judas was going to betray Jesus, the young Rabbi, Messiah said, “Whatever you are going to do…do quickly.” Like I said it is out of context, but it does remind us to do whatever we are going to do now. Go ahead, take the next great adventure, tell someone that you love them, take a moment to be kind, encourage someone who is a bit down, dare to dream. It was just a couple days ago that I wrote how we don’t know what tomorrow holds but we do know who holds tomorrow. So let’s live life fully, completely, now—not later. So, thanks Tim for all your good words and thank you for reminding all of us that not matter what, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne