A Life that Blesses

29 Dec

Would YOU lead a life that blesses others?? Do you know anyone that does??

I do. A friend for many years. An encourager. A man of faith. A strong, Godly man. I will do his funeral on Wednesday (and it will be exponentially difficult).

His name – Wallace Fulmer. He has a wonderful wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He lived to the age of 85 . . . A good, long life, but those of us who love him selfishly wish it was much longer. He served on a submarine in World War II, quite a feat for a tall, lanky kid. He worked for the railroad for his entire career. He’d been a member of Ebenezer since the late 1950s. He served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, on countless committees, and as a mentor and friend to many, many people that walked the halls of 524 S Ebenezer Road with him. He lived a life that blessed others, both in his WORDS and in his DEEDS.

I met Wallace when I came to EBC on June, 1995. He was tall and big like a bear . . . NOT OVERWEIGHT by any means, just a big ol’ boy. Even then, at 72, his handshake could BREAK YOUR HAND. (He gave me that same handshake, and yes, almost broke my hand again two weeks ago in the hospital).

He was the kind of guy who didn’t go around poking his nose in other’s business, but if asked, he would offer the best advice. And, a lot of people asked. There IS wisdom in years lived, and Wallace was a wise man. He was STILL the kind of leader that will be irreplacable at Ebenezer.

He loved children. I know he was a great grandfather. Wallace always wanted to know what my son was doing, and if he saw Drew at church, he would ask him a few questions (to make sure he was behaving) and then give him a peppermint. He really got a kick out of checking in on Drew and the others his age. I think Wallace saw a lot of himself in some of those guys.

I saw him and I heard him sharing encouragement and blessings with LITERALLY hundreds of people. In a world where most older church leaders would not appreciate an influx of young families, Ebenezer is set apart: Its older leaders have ALWAYS encouraged me to keep doing whatever it takes to bring young families in. Wallace was at the front of that line telling me that the most.

Why am I writing this?? In all of the years I have known him, picked on him (in self-defense), visited with he and Eula, he had never done what he did two weeks ago (just before he was discharged from the hospital). I went up to visit him on the day he went back home. We talked for a few minutes. As I usually do, we prayed together. Then I told him I would see him later.

I walked out the door of that 7th floor room at McLeod and I heard him call my name. He said “I’ve got something I need to tell you.” I went back in and he really humbled me. He told me how much it meant to him to have me as his pastor, and it was a long conversation.

Wallace was my friend back when I was the youth minister. He had encouraged me every step of the way. When Ebenezer called me as pastor almost 8 years ago, no one at EBC was prouder than Wallace.

This morning, it hit me . . . That was the last thing he ever said to me. I’ll treasure those words . . . Ironically, he had shared the same words with Aaron Chaney a few days before and Aaron had emailed me. I actually have the words he said in an EMAIL!! That blessing is what I will remember most about my friend, Wallace Fulmer.

And, even if he had never said those things to me, I would never forget him. I’ve not seen too many people who LIVED the Greatest Commandment like Wallace. And that just reminds me that while Heaven is a little bit better today, this earth will get a little worse unless we sinch up our belts and get to work . . .

For those of us who knew and loved Wallace, it is time to get to work and take up the slack.

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