Friday, June 28, 2013

The Untamed Bill Poore - Paying Honor to Whom Honor is Due

My friend Bill is dead, and forever alive. He's finally face to face with the One he so loved to learn of (Mt 11:29). I used to sit with Bill in his den and sip homemade scuffydine wine and talk about God and His Word and His people. Now Bill drinks with Jesus, (or will after receiving his new body - 1 Co 15; Mt 26:29, etc), which is far better for him. The thought is surreal. And today I resurrect this blog to pay honor to whom honor is due (Ro 13:7).

I loved Bill because, frankly, Bill loved me. He seemed to understand me more than most. We were two like souls. I met Bill because, while in seminary, my friend Dwight, who was a member of the church Bill shepherded, said to me that I should attend one of the church's gatherings. The reason Dwight gave for why I would enjoy myself in the gathering was that his pastor, Bill, was me at age 50 (I was in my mid 20's at the time). An older version of me -- this I had to see.

I immediately liked Bill's preaching (It was much better than my own). He clearly wasn't out to win friends, but at the same time he definitely cared for people, cared that they know the real Jesus, the one revealed in the Bible who in turn reveals His Father and gives His Holy Spirit. Bill, perhaps more than anyone I've known, loved to study God's Word. He was a gifted preacher with a terribly small audience. He was not the sort to be invited to address larger crowds. He was much too uncontrollable for that. Bill was not a tame man. And rarely are men untamed by the denomination considered assets by it.

Bill was the most comical person I've ever known. No one could make me laugh more deeply, or more happily, than Bill Poore. He had an unusual and intelligent wit, and observant sarcasm, that I can't help but admire.

Few folks near to me emotionally have died. Bill is the most near. I am sad over his going, because he was my friend, and because he was so good for the world.

Brother Bill, if you can read this from where you are, many deep thanks for your kindness to me. Your influence lingers.