Aaron’s Memories of Uncle Jim
Yesterday was unbelief and today is just kinda numb. I’ve had the priviledge of being the unofficial photographer here at Grace for the past ten years. As I went thru almost 60,000 photos I wished, once again, I had better ones for this album. It is what it is and it helps me a little just to post these. When melanie asked me how I was going to find Jim in all my pics I said it was easy – just look for my dad and you will see Jim next to him or quietly behind him.
Jim was my dad’s right hand help for almost 30 years. If Pastor Jerry was at the door greeting people Jim was right there too greeting just behind him. People may have thought, wow two greeters as I leave church. The truth was he was there to beat your face in if you messed with my dad. He enjoyed giving me a side hug and letting me feel the steel on his hip.
Most of the time Jim was the background guy
He never asked for attention but was always smiling and ready to serve. He always had my dad’s coffee at the end of a service (old masonic building mainly) and made sure fresh nachos or a pretzel was on his desk when he finished greeting. It seems like just yesterday during worship time that Jim would reach up and open the side secret door in the front of the sanc in masonic building and escort my dad to the front row. most of us had to get on our tippy toes to reach that handle.
When my dad got a motorcycle, so did Jim. did he want a motorcycle himself? probably but I’m sure it had something to do with staying close to Pastor Jerry. He was what’s called in church circles the armor bearer for my dad. Basically the idea is that your job is to assist and help the pastor so they can focus on ministry and make sure they are safe. Jim either read an amazing book about this position or he should have written one.
Our history goes way back
Jim and Pat were a part of the group that left a denominational church (or were asked to leave) after being filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I don’t know all the history here but my point is Jim’s history with my family goes back to the very beginning of what’s known as Grace Christian Church. At some point Pat and my mom became friends and started having Bible studies together an eachother’s houses at least weekly. This was always a highlight for me and my sister. Jim & Pat have twins, Eric & Erin who happen to be born on my exact birthday. They also have another daughter Bree who was only days away from my sister Carrie. Eric was my best friend throughout my entire childhood and teen years. To this very day we still call eachother on Christmas morning – its not as fun now cause we don’t get GI Joe or Starwars stuff anymore.
I don’t even know where to begin with all the memories – basically our families were tied together for all of my growing years. The scariest memory I have is when Jim just happened to show up at Kmart and find Eric and I in an aisle getting ready to borrow some merchandise. We knew we were dead meat and wondered how he knew we were up to something when we left the house on Almond in East Detroit. Softball games, pool in the basement, getting picked up in the grey lincoln and having to listen to the same praise music tape over and over…
I did my very first wedding ever at Jim and Pat’s wedding chapel
It was a biker wedding of all things and I looked all of about 16 years old. I was the fill in for when Jim had to work – that was an honor. the biker looked at me as I thought I was holding back my nerves and said, “How many weddings have you done?” I sat there puzzled for a minute cause I didn’t want to lie and Pat piped in “He’s been a pastor for some time now”
It was almost too much coming into my office today – this was the exact last place I talked to him about a week ago. I opened my door and there he was – waiting to help the speaker for the service. “Jim, you’re home!” I said as always. His sarcastic wit always had someting to say and generally the idea was to make you laugh.
Uncle Jim I don’t really know what it will be like to not see you at least every few weeks here in the office hallways. I will miss your goofy texts during church. You left a pretty big mark on many people’s lives and thanks for always being there for my family.
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