Wednesday, May 07, 2014

He now sees face to face

Sean led our church in worship this past Sunday. To say that wouldn’t have happened without Wade Williams is an understatement.

I introduced Sean to Wade when we first started dating; Sean was a new Christian and, although he had played various instruments for churches his whole life, he saw Sunday mornings as performances, not worship services. I totally understand where he was coming from – it wasn’t until I began attending the church where Wade led worship that I came to understand what worship really meant.

Wade was kind enough to take Sean under his wing. He met with him regularly, usually at the TGIFridays at 285 and Peachtree Industrial Blvd. They’d order potato skins and talk about music and church and God and Jesus. They met for the years we were dating, and continued on after our wedding. Sean always came home from these meetings full – full of wonder and new-found knowledge and potato skins. I stopped making big dinners on those nights.

As a result of those times, Sean gained an appreciation for the difference between playing for church and leading the body in worship. And he got to know Jesus in a way he’d not known him
before.

Sean played for Wade for years, sometimes piano, sometimes percussion. Whatever Wade needed and whenever Wade called, Sean said yes. Even when Wade called and said, “Come to Russia and play,” Sean, who'd never been out of the country before, said yes, and it was Wade who took my then-boyfriend on his first mission trip.

We moved and Wade moved, but Sean has never forgotten the lessons he learned from Wade. So often when he picks hymns, he’ll say, “This is a Wade one,” or, “Wade taught me this one.” Hardly a Sunday goes by that we don’t think of Wade or speak of his incredible influence on our lives.

This very minute, Wade sees fully Who he was singing about. He died last week after a two year battle with brain cancer. And the story of how Wade deeply impacted Sean’s life is only one of the thousands that could be told today at Wade’s funeral.

Wade has blessed so many – those he played with and those who learned what worship is all about because of his leadership. It would not be an exaggeration to say that thousands of people have a deeper, truer understanding of the Trinity because of what we learned sitting in the pews at any of the churches Wade served.

Any time Sean plays for church or leads worship, I think of Wade, and I thank God for his influence on both of our lives. And I look forward to the day we get to worship with him again.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
 I Thes. 4:13-18