Saturday, February 4, 2012

"He Walked on Water"

(by Randy Travis) He Walked On Water - I Told You So - The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis

He Walked On Water by Randy Travis on Grooveshark

In lieu of Scrobbled Saturday, I'd like to take today to honor the life of an amazing man of God who meant a great deal to me...This morning I went to a memorial service for a man whose example of Christ & unconditional love for me helped me become the woman I am today. Brother Jerry was my pastor when I was in high school, but he was so much more than a pastor. He was a father to me when I lived far away from my dad. He & his wife Tina welcomed me (& other ragamuffins kids) into their home on a daily basis. Their door was always open, and we never had to knock. We had off-campus lunch & ate at their house every day. He even let me sit in his rocking chair, except for when it was time for him to watch the noon news (with his dessert: a spoonful of Cool Whip)! He let me drive his car a lot, and I was incredibly grateful when he let me use it for my driving test (because my car didn't go in reverse). He taught me to leave the keys in the ignition, though ~ so I totally blame him for my car getting stolen! {Not really. I mean, it really did get stolen, but I don't blame him for it!} He was rarely seen without his cowboy hat, & he actually gave me one of his old ones. I treasured that dirty old thing & wore it all the time! {He even mentioned it in the middle of officiating my wedding ceremony!}

His birthday was the day before mine, and I threatened him (all throughout high school) that one day I would call him at 11:59 pm on his birthday so he could be the first to wish me a happy birthday a minute later. Finally, the summer after I left for college, I actually followed through with the threat. I barely got out my birthday greeting when he drawled out the words, "Happy birthday, Amy." {ftr, he wasn't real amused, but he wasn't mad either ~ 'cuz he loved me!} Speaking of his drawl, it really was something else. He was born & raised in the Deep South; and his voice was deep & somewhat gruff, yet beautiful & soothing at the same time. He had this way of dragging out certain words, and I loved it! When I'd tell him a sob story, he'd respond in fake pity by saying, "Awwwww" in this way that I wish you could hear. And he incorporated that into my last name. {I don't typically disclose this type of information, but most of you are irl or fb friends with me anyways! And I suppose anyone else can find out personal information easily enough these days...} My maiden name is Alford, (not like the "al" in "Alfred", but like in "almost" & "always", though I'm not offended if you say it wrong), & he called me Amy Awwwwwwford. ;)

He was larger than life & seemingly invincible, which made it so much harder to see what stupid cancer did to this big, strong, cowboy-turned-preacher. The last time I saw him, I wouldn't have recognized him if it weren't for that voice that I loved. Brother Jerry will always have a special place in my heart. I have so many fun & beautiful memories of him & Tina. Though I know he wasn't perfect, he was an example of the love of God & what it meant to walk out your faith. I didn't actually think that he walked on water, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that "his hat seemed to me like an old halo." ♥

Amy

4 comments:

becky@cup.of.joe said...

Sweet Brother Jerry. I am so sorry for your loss, friend. He sounds wonderful.

Lasso the Moon said...

Beautiful tribute.
Anna

Brooke said...

{{{{hugs}}}}}

Messy Mom said...

What a wonderful tribute! It sounds like he really made an impact in your life. I am sorry to hear that you had to say goodbye for now :(