Today is March 8th… a date that will not be easily forgotten by this red head. Yes, it’s International Women’s Day, but more important to me — it’s the anniversary of my Papa’s passing two years ago on March 8, 2014.
Although I had visions of grandeur in writing an amazing blog about my amazing Papa, after driving 9 1/2 hours yesterday my back is pounding with pain (the excruciating kind) so this will have to be brief.
My brother and I visited our parents’ grave this morning. We rejoice that they are together with Jesus in the Presence of Everlasting Love (& that their suffering is over) but we miss them. Lots. Lots and lots. Lots and lots and lots and LOTS! There are huge holes in our hearts and lives … yet their love continues to live on in us. We are blessed that the love of Jesus they shared with each other, and with us (& so many) lives on in us, too.
‘Cause that’s the thing about my dad. When people walked in the door, they felt loved. “How are you, really?” And, he really wanted to know. He tended hearts for the Kingdom, planting seeds of love, the agape kind, and gently watched them grow.
Papa was not one for harsh judgement — he liked to get people into the Word of God, and see God at work, changing hearts, changing lives.
He called himself a “sweet little ‘ole brown-eyed pastor.” You just had to watch it when he cut those brown eyes at you …he had a way of getting you to want to do things for God (& for him.)
Although he couldn’t move anything (even to wipe his nose) he had such gratitude. Not a day went by he didn’t thank us, profusely… and tell us how much he loved us. (And, you should have heard what he said to Mama! egads, the mush police ran out of ticket paper!!)
oh, Papa, we miss you!!! (& Mama, too…)
P.S. These verses from Isaiah 40:27-31 are referenced on Papa’s grave – not just because he loved eagles, but as he became weaker & weaker, the spirit of God soared & did truly amazing things in & through him. (“I can’t but He can … and all that : )
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?’ Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Dear Virginia, Praying for you and your whole family today… and so many days. Very grateful for you, your friendship, your Dad & Mom and their amazing lives. God continues to bring fruit from how He sowed into many lives through them… and continues to sow through MiniBible and so many relationships. We miss them greatly and thank God for your family and His continuing work through each of you! Thank you for taking time for your blog posts, especially when you’re in pain. We love you!
Josh, Laura, Abby & Caleb
Thanks so much, Josh! We thank you for all the love you shared with Papa, Mama, Dwight, me & our whole family… and that you continue to share. Papa loved to quote you. When you first started meeting with him years ago, a younger Josh said, “Dick just kicks ass!!” … And his other young mentorees must have thought so, too, because they kept coming back…
Love to you & Laura & Abby and Caleb! + Hugs! Virginia
Very, very well said, GL!
Cindy and I had a great time of memorial prayer as we are driving back to TN.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Thanks Mark. We are so blessed to have each other as we miss Papa & Mama so much. Thank you for being such an important part of our family & sharing our ups and downs & all arounds. Lots of love (hugs inclusive) — gL
Thank you Virginia for this lovely remembrance of your dear Papa. You are so right when you say that even when I just walked through the door of your Williamsburg home for the very first time, I felt the love of Dick Woodward. I remember so fondly the conversations I held with Dick – he was a great inspiration and encouragement to me. I’ll never forget him. – and I love you!
Lots of love to you, Edie! So glad you had the chance to meet Papa & Mama. They were so grateful to God for intersecting our lives – the way you took a snippety 22 yr old and mentored me into something good for God (& others!) Missing you and hope we get the chance to see each other, soon : ) Hugs & hugs & love & love !! Virginia
Papa! He had a really sweet look. I remember asking my friend, Johnny who has passed away, if he ever felt lonely. I was a bit taken aback when he said that he never felt lonely because God was always with him. I strive to be like Johnny. Thank you for sharing your papa with us.
Thank you, Elva. What a blessed reminder from your friend, Johnny. We are not alone – God is always with us. We tend to sing about Emmanuel at Christmas, but I like to pray all year thru in Jesus name “Emmanuel” — God with us. Always & forever, AMEN!
Blessings & love to you this day!! Virginia : )
Thanks, Virginia for sharing. I love the monument. Your dad will always be a part of so many of us, in this community and beyond. I too miss him a great deal, but am completely sure of the one in whom he trusted (2 Timothy 1:12b). My love to the entire Woodward family. God bless.
Love & hugs to you, John — and many thanks for your faithful friendship with Papa! How we miss him, but it encourages my heart to see how you keep his teachings & love of God’s Word close to your heart. Huge blessings!! Virginia : )
I miss him too but rejoice that I can listen to his voice and continue to glean his wisdom every day right on my cell phone. What a legacy he left!
Thank you so much, Ralph, for your friendship with Papa that buoyed his spirits with your presence in his life. Plus, your vital help with his last book – Marketplace Disciples! Much love to you from Williamsburg!! 🙂