Yesterday, my church said goodbye to a wonderful pastor, Wayne Edwards. He wasn't just a preacher. He was a pastor who cared about people. He genuinely loved everyone at Midway.
He means a lot to everyone but he has really treated my family and me with love beyond comprehension in times of trial.
Shortly after beginning his time at Midway, my mom had surgery in Jackson. I still remember waiting for her to get called back to surgery and then to be done. Bro. Wayne, His wife, and our former music minister sat with us the entire time. It's one of those little, tiny things that mean so much.
Unfortunately, my mom had complications from surgery and was in life-threatening condition for several days. A three day hospital stay turned into a week and a half. Through it all, Bro. Wayne and Mrs. Patty made multiple trips to Jackson- just to see us and sit with us.
This encounter shaped the rest of Wayne's time at Midway. It was always clear that he cared, and he's one of those special people that understands something really important- it's not what you do. It's where you go. He understood that sometimes people don't need anything more than someone outside of the situation to sit and talk about the news. People don't always need you to do something in times of crises. They just need you to sit there and silently convey, "I am here for you. Everything might not turn out all right but through it all, I will never leave your side."
While I am sure that God has a wonderful replacement lined up for Midway, he won't be my friend. He won't be my Old/New Testament teacher from MCC. He won't be the man who called on me to do the before/after for Jeremiah in children's Bible Drills. He won't be the man who offered to beat up my first ex-boyfriend when we broke up. He won't be the pastor who got onto me for not telling him when family members were sick.
I may not ever get to know this man who will be replacing the wonderful pastor I love so much. But that's ok. Because someone else needs the new man like I needed Wayne Edwards.
Maybe God will decide to bless me again and eventually I'll find another pastor who loves me and my family like Wayne did. But I'm not holding out for that. Greatness is hard to replicate and if anything describes Wayne Edwards, it's great.