|On the day, Jim entered into the Church|
Here is the announcement of Jim's Repose at my protestant church; also a prayer for his family
I scooted out of there to make it to the Panhida. I walked into the Narthex and Tami was standing in the back. She greeted me warmly, knowing that I had lost a friend. Jim and I go back a long way. Back in our Church of the Nazarene days, we led Children's Church together. He would sing songs on his guitar and lead the kids in singing. He was a licensed minister with the Church of the Nazarene and, for a time, I was pursuing that as well so we would go to "minister's meetings" together. That was then. Now I can say it has been a joy for me to see Jim embrace Christ in the Orthodox Church. I am happy I had a small part in that. (Jim noticed that on Goodreads, which is like facebook for book lovers, that I had been reading the Orthodox Study Bible and he asked my opinion. After I gave it, I directed him to my blog so he could get the full story. Well, he read the entire blog in one weekend and he ended up attending Vespers and the rest, as they say, is history! You can read about Jim's first visit to our parish here)
I arrived at 11:30 and Communion was just finishing up. I stood in the back and I did notice Tiffany was in the back with her husband, Andrew. Glancing at the Icons that are painted on the wall, I noticed that Tiffany was standing right by the Icon of St. Patrick, enlightener of Ireland. That was Jim's baptismal (or, rather, Christmation) Name. I don't know if she planned it that way but it was cool to think that she was standing by the Icon of the Saint who meant so much to her father.
|Jim's Icon of St. Herman|
When Tiffany was free, I, of course, gave her a hug and told her how sorry I was. She said, "Come here, I have something for you." She then took me into the Narthex where she presented me with Jim's Icon of St. Herman. Although Jim took the name Patrick, he had a special bond with St. Herman because Jim loved Alaska so much! Tiffany said that her father would want me to have this because I was the one who got him here. I accepted the Icon, with tears in my eyes and with a full heart. I was honored to have a small part- and yes, it was small; I just pointed the Way- in Jim's entrance into the Church.
Today, will be the viewing at the funeral home. My wife and I will go.I am trying to make arrangements to attend Jim's funeral tomorrow. Even as I type this, I am in communication with someone who is seeing if she can take my shift. As a Federal officer at the Airport, it can be difficult for me to get time off but I am hopeful.
|Jim, Tiffany and Ben on the day they entered into the Church|
Memory Eternal, Jim.
Sorry, but I can't get one line from the movie Ghostbusters, out of my head. Towards the end of the movie when, in order to save the City, the heroes had to risk death, Bill Murray says, "See you on the other side, Ray,"
So I say, "See you on the other side, Jim."