Are you ready? It could happen at any moment. You’re not exempt. Even if you’re the perfect specimen of health and you always eat your daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, there is still no guarantee. So, are you ready?
Andrew Thomas passed away yesterday. Although he lived four states away, and we generally only saw each other once a year, he was a dear friend. Don’t misunderstand. In many ways we were opposites. He was black, and I’m … not. He was originally from Great Britain; I stopped in the airport in London once on my way back from Eastern Europe. He was laid back, gentle and kind; I’m hard driving and too frequently far from gentle and kind.
And Andrew cared deeply. One evening I got stuck at the Harrisburg airport. Bad weather in other areas had radically altered flights that day. So, I faced the prospect of spending the night at the airport. Instead, Andrew came and picked me up, let me stay at his house, and took me back to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. I was clearly not an imposition in his mind. He enjoyed the opportunity to serve.
I don’t think I can recall all the people I have met who would say that Andrew had a major impact on their lives. This was especially true – although not exclusively – for worship leaders who he encouraged and mentored. There are many. Andrew was a friend to everyone. One of his Facebook friends said it well in a post on his wall this morning. “Souls that pour out the love of Jesus into everyone they meet are missed the most!”
Best of all, though, Andrew knew salvation through Jesus’ atoning work. He walked closely with his Redeemer. The words of Jesus were internalized in Andrew in a profound way. They came popping out at just the right moment, when they were most needed. And they were lived.
Praying for Andrew’s wife, Caron, and children, Kim and Stefan.
Andrew Thomas, my friend, I look forward to seeing you again, as we gather before the throne of grace.
So, back to my original question: Are you ready? “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) Ready? Andrew Thomas was.