Over the Hump 06/19/2019


Last week, I mentioned a boy who almost got me thrown off of my High School baseball team. He was from our rival school. He was right, in his complaint and I got lucky and was not dropped from the team. 

Needless to say I had no use for this guy. A couple of years later, in college and in a fraternity, I was told about this guy from my hometown who was a good prospect for my fraternity and they wanted me to rush him. It was that same guy and I did not want to have much to do with him, but I did a bit of getting to know him and he joined the fraternity. Over the years we became friends, roomates, and spent a good bit of time together. I graduated to seminary and he to law school. 

He worked for the State Dept. during the Watergate scandal and was called to testify. He returned to our home state in a bad state of mind. We spent time talking, he joined my denomination and over the next 45 years or so we ministered together and by now were best friends. I officiated at his marriage. He saw me through a time of a meltdown. He was a critic of the Church for he had very high expectations and at first did not understand "feet of clay". He was a gentle critic and became one of the best leaders in his church.

His life was coming to an end when he discovered he had cancer. We spent as much time as possible together since we lived apart, and I was with him the last week and day of his life. I alone, was with him when he drew his last breath. 

His name was Dick Wise, and a bit of me died that day as well. I have his picture on my desk to remind me daily of his presence in my life. I am so glad that I did not let the first impression rob me one of the greatest relationships in my life.