Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Power to Transform Lives

One of the most amazing proofs of the power of the Good News preached by Jesus of Nazareth is the ongoing power his teachings and faith in him have to transform lives. I was reminded yesterday of one life I saw transformed by that power. The newsletter arrived from Church of the Spirit, a new church start I worked with while at Virginia Theological Seminary (1997-2000). The September newsletter told of Wade Matthew's death. Wade was described in The Washington Post's obituary as
undeniably leagues beyond most bass players who chose to play rock or R&B, and his facility on electric bass was just astounding to his colleagues.
The way God transformed Wade's life is worth hearing. Here's that article from Church of the Spirit's newsletter:
Wade playing the bassIt was back as Church of the Spirit was just starting when we met Wade at a wedding for one of our friends. He played with the rest of the House of Spirit Band that day, and we asked him to return on Sunday. That started a process through which Wade both gave up cocaine and gave his life to Jesus. It began in a hospital room as doctors told Wade they might have to take off his arms. That's hard news, especially for a musician who makes his living and expresses himself through his arms and hands.

Wade said he got down on his knees and asked God to take away his need for cocaine. He felt a heat spread through his body, and when he stood up, he no longer had a craving for drugs. However, Wade had only asked God to take something away, not to give him anything in return. When we met Wade a week or two later he was feeling very empty. Wade playing the bassBut he kept coming back to services, even when we did not have him scheduled to play with the band. Not long after, he came up to Pastor Roger in tears and asked to be baptized. He has stayed with us and played for us ever since.

More recently, Wade has had to live through dialysis treatments, and been on a liver donor list. Wade's life was further complicated by being HIV positive—a product of years of intravenous drug use.

Wade MatthewsBack in 2002, Wade wrote an open letter to the congregation in which he asked for our prayers, and said, "I know that God forgives me, Jesus forgives me, and none of you will judge me. I am but a man, a weak man, but with the continued presence of all of you in my life, I will continue to grow ripe in the love of God's garden."

And so he shall, and our work in reaching out to people like Wade who are far from God will bear fruit in eternal life. RIP my brother.
I give thanks for a life changed for the better by the grace of God. "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world"—1 John 4:4

For more on Wade from his musician friends, there is a web page of memories.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


Post a Comment

<< Home