Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

He came to me in a dream last night as clear as could be. Bill Read was with me asking, as he always did, if I was taking care of myself and when the choir would be starting up again. In my sleeping mind I knew that he should be dead; but there he was, his voice strong, and a bounce in his step. He said he would see me on Sunday.

There is sometimes a thin space between this world and the next. I will not try to explain it, and I do not need to understand it. It is enough for me to just take this as a gift from the other side, the blessing of a visitation. He said he would see me on Sunday, so if I am gone, as in really gone, well, it was a great journey. I am thankful that God sent Santa to pick me up.

The following is a Daily Word from December 2018. Given its content, I would suggest you take time today to tell those you love that you love them. Enjoy your day, enjoy the ride, and trust God with the rest. I will see you in church tomorrow or… I will be with Bill. May God’s will be done.

Pastor Jim

December 26, 2018
365 Days in the Year
A Word from Pastor Jim

There are 365 days in the year — only one day is Christmas. Here you see a photo of my grandson Camden from last Friday, December 21, as the Trinity Preschoolers got to visit with Bill “Santa” Read. Bill drove down from his home in Coupeville on both Thursday and Friday even though he had no power at home. On Saturday he spent his entire day with children at Safeway in Oak Harbor. Bill does this each year because he loves children, and it provides a vehicle to raise money to feed the hungry. He does it to honor his late wife and to honor his God.

Bill starts growing that beard in the summer. It is hot and uncomfortable. He purchased his own Santa suit. On Christmas Day Bill was airlifted from Coupeville to Providence Hospital in Everett. I joined his family at his bedside. Bill did not make it. Bill died on Christmas with his Santa beard intact. Bill went home for Christmas to be with his dear Cheryl, their first Christmas together since 2011.

There are 365 days in the year. What are the odds that our Santa would die on Christmas? Bill was the best we had at TLC. He sang and played for the choir. He cooked for the Men’s Breakfast; his home was always open to everyone in the parish, and he was the reason that we have a Valentine’s Day Dinner.

Bill “Santa” Read died on Christmas. To quote Luther, “as a matter of faith I can accept this, as a matter of the flesh I am most crushed.”

Through my tears this morning I am giving thanks for Bill and I am shaking my fist to heaven.

I pray that this dark season of grief will give way to dancing and laughter.

In love,
Pastor Jim