Jesus said, “Come to me you are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Pastor was thoughtful to give us a couple of different scripture passages to connect to as we thought about our working together with Jeffrey. This Matthew text resonated with me. I didn’t know Jeffery well, but I knew him well enough. I knew him to be a young heavy man with big warm brown eyes and a heart light as a feather.
We worked together a little more than seven years ago. It was the first full year of the Gathering Place, a sacred place of community for folks fifty five years of age and better. Jeffery was a volunteer driver and I think he was working with or for the director. He was the guy who picked up all the people and brought them here. He was the one who took everyone home after all the activities. He was one of those people that filled in the void for things that needed to be done. He was a right hand man. Jeffery seemed to be drawn to the activity and the group. I remember him joining us for Bible study and participating with the people at many events. He was steady and reliable. I never heard him complain.
I was surprised to see Jeffery at the Sacred Places function, a series of workshops about refurbishing older churches. I could see that he was happy to be there. I wondered if he had become a member of the church. A whole lot of connecting must have gone on after I left. Jeffery seemed downright proud to be apart of that venture. My last encounter with him was when he contacted me and invited me to be a friend on “Facebook” which I did.
I saw Jesus in Jeffery. I saw Jesus in his faithfulness to the task at hand. I saw Jesus in his care for people. I saw Jesus in his taking the initiative to connect with others. I saw Jesus in his patience and his loyalty.
I have this image that has been on my mind. It is the image of what it must have looked like when the angels ministered to Jesus after he overcame temptation and was tested in the wilderness. I picture two angels. One on each side with Jesus arms over their shoulders as they carry him off to the sidelines. Kind of like they do football players when they get hurt.
That image reminds me of the many ways that the angels carried Jeffery at those times in his life when things were heavy and he was weary.
I am thinking about how the angels get all the good parts in the gospels by showing up on all those mountain top places and how they have come here to bring God’s peace, the peace that passes all understanding. I am wondering just how much angels weigh as they carry Jeffery home to his belonging. It can’t be much, about the same as Jeffery’s heart…light as a feather.