While we were in Alaska, we received the sad news that a very special man, Mr. Wayne Walker, had passed and gone to heaven. Tuesday of last week, as we sat in the memorial service, I was deeply moved as person after person shared stories of how Mr. Wayne had impacted their lives through the power of Christ. It seems that Mr. Wayne, though a simple, small town man, made a huge impact for Jesus. Here are some facts about his life that I have been thinking about all week:
Mr. Wayne lived in Madison almost all of his life. He worked at the same job for 30 some-odd years. He was married to the same woman for over 50 years. He was active in church and was often the first face that we saw every Sunday morning. He was a jokester and was always teasing and goofing off. He kept his bible with him and read it on breaks at work. He looked out for and protected those younger and weaker than him. He loved teaching children. He encouraged, even when others had made mistakes. He was a servant and often helped without anyone else’s knowledge. He wasn’t perfect and he made mistakes, but he was the first to share that he would be nothing without the saving grace of Jesus.
Pastor Steve, who spoke at the service, shared that when Mr. Wayne thought a lot of a person, he’d call them SALT. This comes from the scripture in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Wayne Walker lived a simple life; a simple life that was filled with life. He isn’t one of those people we will read about in history books, but with his simple actions, I’m pretty sure he helped change the course of history by impacting the lives of others. He paid attention to the world around him and was quick to meet a need. He was a servant. He was a witness. He lived a full life and he desperately wanted others around him to know the grace of Jesus that saved his soul.
I’m so thankful for the example of Mr. Wayne. His life shows that living for Christ doesn’t have to be an impossible task; it should be a natural flow, not forced or put on. As we are going we are to show Christ’s love and tell of his grace. Thank you, Mr. Wayne. You are SALT.