This afternoon, I learned of the passing of one of my former teachers and friends, Dr. J. Rodman Williams.
Dr. Williams, a former Pastor, Professor at Regent Unversity and leading Thelologian, passed on this Shabbat. He was ninty years old.
And one of the sweetest, kndness, humblest men I knew.
I met Dr. William twenty years ago. I was teaching a Bible class. Here was Dr. Williams, sitting front roll and center, listening to every word. After the class Dr. Williams came up and not only told me what a fine job I did, but encouraged me in my studies in Torah and grow in my faith. He was always encouraging and I never saw him without that beautiful smile on his face. Since we were attending the same church at the time, so I saw he and his lovely wife often.
One year, a series of Bible Study, known came out, known as Living by the Book. Dr. Williams was one of the leading teachers. I learned so much.
It was Dr. Williams who encouraged me to continue not only in my studies of Torah, but of my Jewish history and tradition, embracing its richness. Not only did I know his wife, but his daughter and granddaughter attend the same congregation Mark and I do.
It had been awhile since I had seem Dr. Williams. Once when I asked his daughter about her dad, she encouraged me to write him.
I am so glad I did.
Mrs. Williams once asked Mark for a picture of the Euphrates River, knowing Mark was serving in Iraq. I got that picture to her and thankful for the Williams prayer for Mark while he was in Iraq.
I was truly blessed to know this man, a man in whom the Spirit of the Living G-d dwelled.
Heaven is richer for his presence.
We on earth are poor with his leaving, but far better for his walking amoung us.