My two brothers and I had the chance to visit Bishop John Meares who is now on his death bed at 91 years of age. God used him in a mighty way to pioneer and pastor a multiracial church in the heart of Washington, DC in the 1960’s when racial tensions were at an all time high. Not only was he a pastor, but a loving husband, father, pilot, architect, ship builder, and sailor.
While at his bedside he began to talk. I knew he was weak and didn’t want him to feel any pressure to speak to us. So, after a few minutes I interrupted him and asked him to pray for us. To my surprise he said rather strongly, “I will. After I’m done talking.” My brothers gave me a look that said, “Yeah. Shut up.” So I sat there and listened. For the next 40 minutes he talked, no he preached us a sermon on how to be better pastors. One thing he said I’ll never forget. On preaching he said, “I never wanted to be a great preacher, just an obedient one.”
I’m thankful to have had that moment. May many in my generation come to their dying days like this, filled not with bitterness, defeat, and heartache, but with the Word of the Lord, with His joy and life.