Last night we were to a banquet fundraiser for the Followers of Jesus School. The fundraiser was held at Shady Maple Smorgasboard in Lancaster. The school is located in Brooklyn, NY and my precious Daddy was the one who originally had the dream of a Christian school for the inner city church that he was overseeing.
It was a wonderful time. I kept thinking about my Daddy and how he would have enjoyed the evening last night. Not because his name was brought up (and it was, often!) but because he would have been so delighted to see how God has worked in the lives of young people that he loved and dreamed dreams for. He would have been beaming as the stories of God’s incredible grace extended time and time again in the hour of need, and he would have known that his dream was God-given. He would have hugged Angel and been enthused that the young man who had often been in his prayers because of his lack of commitment was now chairman of the school board. He would have chuckled to hear Valerie address the assembly with confidence and poise and he would have been delighted with her two precious children.
And Mama, there without him, felt the things he would have felt, knew that he would have loved the evening the only way that Mark Yoder could have, and her face was so serene and happy. Even the tears, when the people from the city that she and Daddy loved so much came to hug her, talk to her and to talk about him, where somehow comforting.
I’ve been pondering all day how it is that it feels so right when we are with people who loved Daddy so much. They speak of their love, and remember things he did and said and even now, over three years later, still wipe their tears. But they smile, too, and I remember his smiley eyes and how his legacy is one of joy as well as faith.
What a responsibility his family has — to remember his life and to live in a way that brings honor to that life. But when it comes right down to it, our Daddy was an ordinary man by every account. An ordinary man with an Extraordinay Love Affair with an Awesome God. That’s what allowed him to dream. To have vision and foresight and courage. It gave him living hope and dying grace. And if he can see where this vision led, if it matters to him tonight, I think he is humbly grateful, but I don’t think he is surprised.