It’s taken me over a week to write this post.
Darryl Gaston was neither “just a barber” or “just an elder” or “just a community leader.” To describe him that way is an affront to his Maker.
He died suddenly on February 20 and the only joy in that moment was that it was sudden and painless – at least for him. Leaving suddenly is traumatic for those we leave behind, but he was spared a difficult ending of this life.
His years were a testimony to what is needed in the world.
One of things they don’t teach you in seminary is how to prepare for the constant losses: the deaths of beloved parishoniers, the abrupt departures of angry church members, the slow departures of parishioners who no longer feel connected. It’s enough to give a pastor abandonment issues.
It felt like a gut punch the night Darryl died. His little church is without their pastor. (Darryl was a ruling elder trained to serve as a Commissioned Local Pastor.)
I write this to remind myself and anyone reading this that we are not “just” anything. We are so much more than one thing although our primary identifier might be Pastor or Mother or Christian. God equips us to shine in every part of our lives if we will only pay attention, but few of us do this well. Darryl Gaston did it very well.
Please continue to hold this family and congregation in prayer.