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Goodbye for Now

We recently had to say, “Goodbye for now,” to one of the Saints of Bethel, our beloved brother in Christ, Wally Cordle.
Last year Wally had to step down as a Trustee of Bethel. The church offered Wally a beautiful gesture of love before he passed away. We voted to honor his life with a plaque which recognized his 47 years of devoted service to Bethel.
I had the privilege of helping Paige Rider present the plaque to Wally. Paige also gave him a stack of cards which contained messages of love from Bethel members and we also gave him a photo album. Wally was, as ever, humble and gracious when we gave him these gifts of appreciation.
I’m grateful that Wally got to experience the love we have for him before he passed away. As I reflected on his life and prepared for Wally’s memorial service I reached out to our former pastor, Ed Powell, and asked him to share a thought or two about Wally.
Ed said, “When Wally spoke people listened.” People did listen to Wally. Perhaps one reason people listened is because of Wally’s favorite scripture. On one of my last visits with Wally I asked if he had a favorite scripture. I was expecting to hear something familiar, like Psalm 23 or John 3:16. Nope, not with Wally. I should have known better. He said one of his favorite scriptures was Proverbs 18:7 “The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.”
If that’s not Wally Cordle, I don’t know what is. Wally knew the power of words and when Wally spoke you could count on either a good story or a carefully thought out, reasoned opinion.
Let’s fast forward to one of my last conversations with Wally. It was a telephone conversation. We just received our orders to “Shelter in Place” because of COVID-19. I asked Wally what he thought about the global pandemic. Remember, when Wally speaks, we listen. Wally said, “We have to trust the Lord. One day soon, this too shall pass.”
These words are true, they’re important and they need to be remembered. I’ll certainly remember his words, but I also remember HOW he said those words. He spoke them with a quiet confidence; he knew they were true. Wally had plenty of life experience and, most importantly, he had plenty of experience in praying to the Lord, seeking the Lord and studying about the Lord. Wally’s words were born out of a lifetime of service to the Lord.
As we continue to navigate the murky waters of this global pandemic let’s remember the wisdom of Wally Cordle, “Trust the Lord. One day soon, this too shall pass.” Lord, We thank you for the gift of Wally’s life and for his wisdom. Please bless his family, bless our Bethel Church family and please Lord, heal our world. Through Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit I pray. Amen. Much love and all of God’s blessings to you all. I miss you and love you.

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