Opinion | Pop Culture

A Life Well-Ordered

Remembering my late pastor and refocusing on my priorities.
A Life Well-Ordered
Image: Beba73 / iStock

For the fifth time this year, I found myself reflecting on death and what we leave behind. In addition to public tributes to B.B. King and Elisabeth Elliot, both figures whose work shaped my life, I also lost a grandfather, a childhood playmate…and now a pastor. Most of them had lived well past 80, but my pastor had just begun a new season of ministry.

David A. George brought many years of life and ministry experience to our church, which has a gifted but mostly 30-something pastoral staff. In the short time that he served our church, barely a year, he became a spiritual father to many of us. I’m chronically late to church, but David often stepped out from his post near the back door to greet me, often with a hug.

When I learned about his cancer diagnosis just weeks ago, I thought of poetry—first, lines describing the shock of his illness, then some poems I’d been reading. David had shown interest in a poetry party I hosted, so I planned to send him poems ...

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