As I drove to see my see my father in law in Newry Hospice I remembered the words of a song but got them slightly mixxed up in my head. The gentle healer in my mind became to wounded healer. I had just returned to Portadown, my home town, after living in the North West for 20 years and was wondering what I was going to do with my life now that I was back in town. With the words ringing in my ears 'the wounded healer came into our town today.' I went into visit a man who was known for his pearls of wisdom. One of John's favourites was 'Its only what is done in the name of the Lord that matters' To Trevor and I he was a friend a faithful supporter and a confidant as well as a father. In all our years of ministry he never failed to love and encourage us and now I was about to lose my spiritual father, my mentor. The one person in my life who, matter what happened; always said 'well' we will have to pray about that'. if the world fell apart we had to pray about it and if something brilliant happened we had to pray about that to.
I had no idea that I was about to have a two of the most important conversations of my life. The Lord himself was about to give me a vision to raise up an army of wounded healers equipped to bring the healing of Jesus to a broken humanity and shortly after that my greatest encourager was about to confirm it in the last conversation we would ever have. Wounded healers follows the pattern of service that John taught me and the legacy he left us. One of John's saying was 'it is only what is done in the name of the Lord that matters' and Gatekeepers is dedicated to his memory and that legacy in gratitude for his example.
In the days leading up to us losing him John was barely able to speak but he rallied enough strength to give me and Trevor our last pep talk; our final words of wisdom. 'It is only what is done in the name of the Lord, Vivienne; that is all that matters,only what it done in the name of the Lord. John left us a legacy in words and actions that we can only hope to emulate. I loved him but the old saying is true; you do not appreciate what you have until you lose it. John was quick to give out a word of wisdom. I lost count of the amount of times he said me, as your faith is, so shall it be it onto you, the times he told me that the Lord was in control when my life was spinning out of control and if I am being perfectly honest drove me mad thinking, this man is not for real. If he tells me to pray about it once more I think I will scream.
Oh what i would give to hear those words today. I miss you John and I did not appreciate your wisdom when I had it but your wisdom still reigns in our home. We will often smile when we think of you. You left us the best legacy possible to leave anyone, good memories. But you are with your wounded healer in a place where there is no sickness, no sorrow, no pain. However your words of wisdom remain. It is only what is done in the name of the Lord that matters and Gatekeepers, with all its ministries including wounded healers, Amma prayer helpline, counselling, caring workshops, whatever Gods plans are for gatekeepers I dedicate to Johns memory. He lived for an audience of one; Jesus his Saviour and His Lord and now he is with Him. We can only hope to live half as well as he did wounded healers following our wounded healer into town, What would Jesus do if He came to your town today? The challenge to wounded healers is that He says 'come follow me.'