My Friend Carl
His pocket over-filled with a case for his glasses, dressed for working in the yard or garden or possibly a handyman project in a house or at Green Hill, I remember a rare sight of Carl climbing out of his favorite work truck on an early mid-week morning to attend the weekly Men’s bible study.
I say rare, because Carl usually beat me there. He typically had a friendly verbal jab ready for me for being late. Either Carl or Joel. Arriving at 7:28 for a 7:30 meeting was considered late.
Another early morning appointment with Carl stands out for me. Breakfast at Pop’s in Merida, Yucatan! I have been so blessed to have been allowed to work with Carl’s crew when he was the “heffy”. Breakfast at Pop’s. The bus ride to and from the work sites. The “no lunch” all day projects. The evenings topped off with a meal at the hotel or nearby restaurant; and of course, the ice cream.
I treasure another early morning appointment with Carl. The morning he volunteered to take me to a clinic in Dothan (about two years ago now)…so he could drive me home from a biopsy procedure. Precious, precious times.
Following one early morning breakfast gathering at Green Hill, soon after Anita and I had arrived in Enterprise, Carl went with me to our new house off of hwy 167 to anchor a metal shed to a concrete foundation…in hopes of finishing before a storm hit. Long story short, even though he really didn’t have the right drill bit, Carl managed somehow to attach the shed; but not before the storm hit in all its fury. I’ll never forget, with Carl feverishly working with lesser equipment than he wanted, with the wind and rain howling, and lightning crackling all around us, I picked that moment to ask my nervous question “should we be working inside this metal building using electrical equipment in the middle of this lightning storm?” He responded, with some rare impatience, “Do you have a better idea; I’m ready to hear it?”
I remember my days with Carl. Early mornings, late evenings. Choir practice. VBS. Visitation. Poorly attended Wednesday prayer gatherings. Wednesday Night Bible Study and Fellowship. I remember once calling off Wednesday night Fellowship meal because of really nasty weather, and somehow Carl and Betty, and one or two other persons didn’t get the word. There they were. They had their Green Hill meal together. They kept their appointment. And I received one of many of Carl’s gentle lessons about how we should never call off a meeting at Green Hill.
Carl kept his appointments.
The work days, the Cursillo fellowship (which he and Betty dearly loved), the fellowship and ministry of the Gideons, the fun moments he would have with the “office fellowship” at Green Hill with Joel and Jim and Lucy; and later, Sandi. The good friendship Carl had with Jim and Betty Cully. With the Carters. The Webbs. Ron Seery. Well, I would have to name the entire church family.
Carl was like the main pole in the middle of the tent. That’s what he’s been to Green Hill. To the family members on Carl’s side and Betty’s side. To an incredible network of friends. Carl was like the main pole in the tent.
Carl’s example to all of us, I believe, is that we need to be there…be there for one another…because of the unconditional love that Christ has for each one of us
Early mornings, late at night, all day long, every day…Each one of us are needed to hold the tent up, or to “anchor that shed down” for one another in these days of stormy weather.
Thank you, Carl, my dear brother, for your incredible example; allowing Christ to live in you.
See you in the morning? Early?