“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”
(Psalm 90:12 ESV)
It was September 1977 and life was exciting and scary all at the same time. I was in my first year of high school, I received my first power wheelchair, and our family had started going to a new church.
I started going to youth group at church. It was a fun time to be meeting others my age, but it was a bit intimidating being the only one in a wheelchair. Some people would not talk to me, afraid of the unknown. There were some people who looked beyond my wheelchair and got to know me as a person. One of those people was Jay.
Jay was a good friend. He saw me as a person, not a wheelchair. If there was an event going on he would take me and he would pop my chair in his car after lifting me in. I never felt like a burden for him. Even in high school, Jay put Jesus first in his life. He had a part-time job at our church as a custodian, and one Saturday evening after youth group, a few of us were waiting for Jay to drive us home after he closed up the church. He bounded down the stairs to tell us he was almost done. He wanted to check the baptistery tank, as there were some baptisms Sunday morning. Five minutes later he was sloshing down the steps, wet from the knees down. He started to explain: “It looked so clear I didn’t think there was any water in it.” We all laughed as we got in his car to be driven home by a wet driver.
Jay went on to be a teacher. He married and had three children. Life was busy as we went different directions, but in January 2015 Jay emailed me to see if I would speak at his church for their Father/Daughter banquet. On May 8 Katie drove me to Hamilton to speak at this event. That evening I watched as Jay helped set up, organize, and run the event, I realized he was still very dedicated to his Saviour Jesus. You could see it in his face and hear it in his voice. It was an honour to be a guest speaker at this banquet. I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with his beautiful and only daughter.
December 2, 2015, on Jay’s way home from teaching, he was hit by a car and killed. I know Jay is in heaven with Jesus, not because he was good but because he knew Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
You can know Jesus too. He died for you many years ago on Good Friday. Seek Him while you have life and breath.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 ESV)