Today I found out something that made my heart sink when I read it, but made me rejoice at the same time.
I was looking at the newspaper from the town I lived in when I was in junior high and high school. I check the articles out every now and then. I seen a familiar name in the obituaries and then went to look over all of the obituaries. I was floored when I seen Pastor Harry Myer’s obituary. It was a surreal moment for me. Read Pastor Harry’s Obituary.
When ever I think of Harry I thought of a Godly man through and through. He had a sense of humor and loved to joke around. I would go over to their house and spend probably more time than I should since my friend Diana is his daughter. She and I were in the same grade.
I have blogged a number of times about Harry Myers. Because of how Harry, Dixie and his family were close to God and loving, I have made sure to use them as a role model in my life. To this day, I still remember the days with them. When my parents literally were trying to kill each other and coming from a home that is far from God, I feel that God knew I needed better role models.
I can’t even count on one hand how many times Pastor Harry opened his doors up. I wonder if he knew just how instrumental he has been in my life. I don’t think there was a time that I didn’t see a smile on his face. He had what I would call a Jimmy Carter smile with a contagious laugh. Another word I would use is that he knew how to love. He loved his kids and he made sure to tell them in word and deed. Because of how he loved his daughters and loved God, I am where I am right now. My daughters were raised knowing I loved them. I tell them every-time I see them. I made sure to raise my family and lead my life in a total different way then I was raised. I think that God sent me to this church in order to learn about what real love is and what it means to fully trust in the Lord. Pastor Harry and his family made it look easy.
When I went over there, I was welcomes with open arms. Harry and Dixie told me on my last visit last year how they had no idea what was really going on in my family. They knew there were problems, but they didn’t realize the extent of physical and mental abuse. We weren’t allowed to tell anyone what was going on at home. If we did, then there were some major consequences. And going to church was a no no. It was sad that I had to be deceptive in order to go to church. I had to threaten my parents that if I couldn’t go, then I would make sure everyone knew what was really going on. They did tell me that in order for me to go to church, all chores had to be done, and that meant those that had to do their own chores. So it was where I had to wake up at 5 am to get everything done so I could go to church. That is one of the reasons I left home.
When I walked into the house to visit Diana, it was pretty awesome to see that families prayed together, joked around with each other and they told their children they are loved. It was normal to see them baking together, playing music and enjoying their life together. There were many times they would invite me to go with on picnics at the Cochise Stronghold and other things.
Pastor Harry didn’t realize how things were, but his mom Mattie Bennett did. Oh my goodness, I adored Mattie and because of her I love to write poetry. To this day I still write poems and I always think about Mattie and how she taught me how to write it. Harry had that same kind of unconditional love. Mattie and I also came up with a plan for her to pick me up for church. I did confide in her. We told my parents as she drove up to the house to get me that she was there to get me. In order to save face, they would let me go with her. But I knew when I got home, I was going to trouble. It was every Sunday that this went on. It was worth it though.
One of the saddest days that I remember with Pastor Harry was when he put in his notice that he was stepping down as a pastor. The reason why I still remember it like it was yesterday is because he was thinking that he wasn’t making much of a difference and that he thought that he needed to step down in order to help the church. I wish I would have been able to tell him that he may not have felt he made a difference. For me, Harry and his family literally saved my life in ways nobody can understand. If Pastor Harry wasn’t the pastor there, I could have had the same kind of future a couple of my siblings have had. Instead he taught me that I needed to trust in the Lord always and make sure He is the one I trust fully. I would say that Pastor Harry is a true man of God.
There is a song that I think of when I think of Pastor Harry, Dixie and their family. That song is called Thank You by Ray Blotz. The song is about how a person gets to heaven and he see’s all those people in their life. Here is the chorus to the song.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave
Because of the generosity of Pastor Harry, my life was changed. My daughters and their families are believers in Christ. because of Harry showing me the true love of Christ, my life has changed. Without the love and true compassion, I don’t know where I would be right now.
A couple of years when I went to visit, I think I spent more time in Willcox than I did at my parents. My friend Lisa and I drove down from my home here in Southern Utah. I was so excited to go to church at what I still consider my church. I got baptized there and that little Nazarene Church was my shelter from the storms of abuse. I tried to get a hold of Harry and Dixie to see if they were going to be in town. I lost their number, so we took a chance on going to church. As I walked in, there was Dixie and Harry on the pew. Cheryl and her family was also there. I was so overwhelmed in a good way to see them there in front of me.
Then Pastor Harry was the pastor for the Sunday since they were waiting on their new pastor to show up. It had to have been the most awesome part of my trip. Pastor Harry was funny though. He made sure to point out who I was and that I built his website and a whole other things. He also said some funny things along the way. It was perfect and just what I needed. I told Harry that if they every wanted to come to St. George, Utah and visit, then they are more than welcome.
The last time I was in Willcox, I visited Harry and Dixie. Dixie wasn’t doing well at the time. I stopped by the house before my friend Lisa and my sister Joyce went to church. That was the last time I seen them both. I will miss them, even if I didn’t see much of them. But I know that because Pastor Harry helped me in my walk with Christ, I know when I get to heaven he will be there.
Rest in peace Pastor Harry. I will be thinking of you always. You and your family are very dear to me. Thank you Lord for putting Pastor Harry in my life. Thank you for all that You have done in my life Lord. Psalms 46:1