Bekah is practicing for Worship this morning, and Isaiah Grace is sleeping in the next room, so I thought I would jot down a few words. I wanted to share with you guys about a loss we had last week. My grandfather died, as he was 86, and lived an incredibly full life. He waited around in the hospital for all the family to say their goodbyes, and then went on to see the Lord. It was amazing how the last few days he would speak of things he was seeing on the other side. Speaking of seeing family, friends that have already passed, and how beautiful those angels are, etc. Incredible how the Lord lets us taste a bit of the other side, when someone is slipping into Heaven. It was really a good time to be with family, and we actually laughed a lot considering the circumstances. I wish you all could have been at the funeral to taste a glimpse of the life of this great man. Uncle Len said at the funeral that for 50+ years, he had never seen Pop get angry, or say a coarse word. What an inspiration. Pop was always Gentle, always serving, always laughing, always making jokes, always a pleasure to have around.
Ever since I can remember, he would always tell me he would take me out for a banana split, and if he couldn't do it at the time, he would slip me some money, so I could buy myself one. Even up until the week before he died he told me that he still owed me some money for a banana split. I found some guy who had blogged about him, on the internet, after his passing, and wanted to share it here, as it sums up how Pop lived his life.
questingparson on 5/2/2007
The Reverend Dwight Nysewander died Saturday. My heroes are departing one by one, with an ever increasing frequency it seems. And this old world and, especially, this old church seem sort of empty without them.
Funny, if you made a transcript of the words that passed between the two of us over our lives as pastors it wouldn’t fill three good pages. But, there would be no possible way to measure the esteem in which he was held by this old parson.
When he was a young preacher coming into his prime, I was a restless soul coming to grips with the rest of my life. He never counseled me on that. He never gave me words of guidance. I doubt he even knew I was conflicted over the church. But I watched him nevertheless. I watched him as he labored as the pastor of my mama and her sisters and their families. I saw the concerned evidenced in his face when mama talked of the demon of alcohol that plagued her kids. I watched the smile travel over his face as my cousin Sally grew to the servant of Christ she is.
The heyday of my mama’s church was the day of Dwight’s ministry there. He’d give God the glory, but it seems clear the instrument God used to build that church was Dwight. There was a quiet, gentle, steadfast plodding toward that which is eternal in the endeavors of Dwight’s life.
I had a lot of kin folks in that church – a lot. Long after Dwight had retired, fifty years after his serving there, he could still discuss the intimate details of the life of my family who attended there. And they, when the spoke of him, spoke with a smile on their face and a reverence in their heart.
Dwight was short, unassuming and humble. In many ways he was shy. He never made a big splash, but the waters seemed to part before him. He was a giant. He walked tall and cast a shadow in whose shade we could all gather to learn of the love of his Jesus. No one ever had to ask Dwight Nysewander if he were a Christian.
They tell me the last thing Dwight said was to his wife: “I love you, Mary.” And that’s so typical. His last conscious impulse was to proclaim his love. They also say in the end he was singing hymns with some choir. His son wonders if Dwight was slipping away to that place he wanted so much to go and then coming back to share the songs of his faith with us.
We stood there at his memorial service, singing those same hymns. I got the feeling was we reached that verse about being “there ten thousand years” Dwight, for the last time, slipped out the side door of our lives and left us to sing the hymns of faith his very life proclaimed.
I look around the set-aside brethren today and realize how poverty stricken we are compared to such lions of the faith.