He came the first time, 20 years ago now, holding a pair of shoes out to me. “Pastor, I need some money. Will you give me $10. I’ll leave these shoes with you.”
Well, there is an actual verse about not taking a persons cloak in pledge. Exodus 24:12
12 If the neighbor is poor, do not go to sleep with their pledge in your possession.
So I helped him. that was the start of a number of visits. He came to the office, he came by my house at times. There was always a small need. He had a prescription, but needed a co-pay. He needed a few dollars for gas to get to a food pantry. He turned out to wear my size of shoes and pants, so I would save any shoes that were old but not worn out and give them to him.
He did day labor when I first knew him. He had a series of old cars that somehow he kept running. Over time he was not able to work due to his health.
Yesterday his partner of 30 years came by in tears. Larry had died on the evening of Thanksgiving. They were not married, so she did not know if she could see him. I called the funeral home and we arranged to meet there the next today. She asked for a bible and a prayer, which we did in the parking lot.
Larry was laid out. down stairs in a small room, under a cover. He looked calm, as he usually did.
She wanted to know if she could kiss him. Yes she could.
Larry had some family and a few friends who were there, saying good-by. His brother read a couple of verses from the New World Bible.
What is next? Larry is in the hands of the Almighty, as is his partner for many years. He on that side and she on this.
She kept saying, “I want to take him home.”
I tried to say that he is home. “You can take him home in your heart, but he has to stay here.”
If you read this, pray for Larry’s partner, Donna.