Thursday, September 1, 2011

Darwin Edwards: A Noble Saint Has Gone Home

In Boise, ID when we stopped to see Darwin Edwards and his dear wife Miriam while on Deputation '09
I had the honor of being Darwin and Miriam Edwards' pastor for 5 years in Phoenix Arizona ('99-'04).  Darwin Edwards was exactly 50 years older than I, yet we were the best of friends.  He and I would spend hours every week in Phoenix knocking on doors, passing out tracts, witnessing of Jesus, and inviting others to church.  Heather and I, and our children loved him dearly.  We prayed together, cried together, talked together, and laughed together.  I began to call him "My Christian Grandpa" for he was like a dear grandpa to our family.  We later had the honor of having him visit us here in Colombia, for he loved missions and he loved us, and what a delightful and precious time we had together!

Noah playing with "Grandpa Edwards" when he came to visit us in Colombia in '06.
At nearly 10:00 Wednesday night while preparing for bed here in Colombia, South America, we received the news that Darwin Edwards had died.  (His obituary is here.)  It is at a time like this when I wish that I were in the USA rather than in South America.  We had always hoped for our whole family to be at his funeral for that was his expressed desire.  So almost immediately after hearing the news last night, I went online to see about buying tickets.  It was logistically and financially impossible this late in the game not just for the whole family, but even for just me alone.  So instead of boarding a flight, I wrote a poem.

Brother Edwards in church in Barrio Corinto, Bogota, Colombia.

Having family altar in Colombia.  It was in this visit when we discovered that we were expecting Elijah.  So "Grandpa Edwards" got the news hot of the press -- he was the first one to know.  He had been praying that we would have a brother for Noah.
If any of you get to heaven before me, tell Brother Edwards that I wanted to tell him goodbye, but I couldn't.  But don't tell him that we said, "goodbye."  Better to tell him that we said, "By God's grace, we'll see you later."

Darwin Edwards with Noah on his second and last Colombia visit in '07.
Goodbyes the last time he visited us in Colombia.  How I miss him.
Written upon hearing of the death of my dear friend and Christian “grandpa”

Darwin Edwards

Pause with me, good men, and weep.
A nobler man than you and me
                                                Has fallen asleep
But by now has wakened up in glory.

Heav’n to me will be more sweet,
A place of which he loved to sing,
                                                Now its King he’ll greet,
My dear friend who is blessed up in glory.

Hush all noise, ye saints, and kneel.
Thank God so good for giving him;
Through our tears we thrill
At the thought of him with God in glory.

Money scarce he gave to save
The needy in the name of Christ. 
Now all that he gave       
He now has, plus much more there in glory.

How he loved so much his wife.
He spoke to all about his girl,
The love of his life.
He awaits her in a place of glory.
He often laughed and cried with tears
Whene’er he spoke of his great joy,
His Lord through the years.
And to think he’s with Him, what glory!

“Hear me, all,” I know he’d say,
“Have faith alone in Jesus Christ;
Your sins wash away.
 And do join me in God’s holy glory!”

                                                       - Phillip Dickinson, 8/31/2011


Kira said...

Oh Phillip , i am so sorry to hear that sad news !

Your poem was very heartfelt and beautifully written .

Again i am deeply sorry for the lose of your dear friend .

As you say , it is not "goodbye " more like "see you later " .

The Dickinsons said...

Kira, thank you for your kind words.

Sherry L Dickinson said...

Hi Phillip, I wish your heart didn't have to hurt over the loss of dear old Brother Edwards, but hasn't it been a BLESSING to have him as your adopted Grandpa through these years that you have known him? How kind Jesus was to let you two have each other as loved friends.
I like your poem about Brother Edwards, and the pictures of him brought back good memories. Oh how cute little Noah and Brother Edwards look in the pictures of them together!
I appreciate it that you took the time to write this good tribute about our dear Christian friend, Brother Darwin Edwards, because I enjoyed it and because I feel the very same way about him.
Love, Mom

Scott and Libby said...

I will miss Bro Edwards too. He was one of the people that prayed over me when I went to the alter at Gospel Center church, to publicly proclaim my faith in Jesus.I think I will alwayes remember that day & his part in it,as it was such an important event in my life. And from that day on the Christian kindness he & wife always showed me & my family. Thank you Sir, I truly miss you,and am happy that you are in your "Rest".

The Dickinsons said...

Sherry, Scott & Libby,

Thank you for your kind comments. Love and miss you all. Yes, "Brother Edwards" was a dear older saint. U. Scott, I'm glad that you and A. Libby are still seeking God. Keep your eyes on Jesus.


lila said...

What a nice tribute to dear Bro. Edwards. We loved him dearly and he was a joy to be around. We was sad to hear of him passing also. I can just see him in heaven thanking and praising the BLESSED TRINITY!!!!!! Much love and blessings to you all

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