Last night my son and I had the extreme pleasure of driving to Bridge City, Texas, to join in honoring John W. and Hazel Harrell who celebrate forty years of pastoral ministry. Casey and I spoke with old friends, and he got to meet people who at some point in the past have poured themselves and their experience with life and with God into me.
My son is quite cerebral and loves to read and study. When Pastor Harrell took the time to speak directly to Casey and to pour his thoughts and reflections, his musings on Spurgeon and Boreham and Ward, filtered through one of the most prolific minds I know, I realized again how blessed I am. Even though my son is twenty-five years old I still appreciate someone pouring into his life. Casey is a futures trader, a certified financial coach, an HR administrator, a husband and father, a minister who teaches twice monthly to the new members of our churches, and yet, when a mentor of mine took the time and energy to pour himself, uninterrupted, into my son, I became thankful all over again.
I was twenty-two when I met Brother Harrell. We whiled away many hours speaking of the life and mannerisms of God’s pulpiteer and how that word should never be a disparaging moniker. Crammed into a little S-10 Chevrolet pickup he astounded me with his mental library and his willingness to share. I remember calling him from London, England, to tell him I was standing in Metropolitan Tabernacle, home of Charles H. Spurgeon. Johnny Harrell is my friend, but more than that, my mentor. A friend loves you like you are. A mentor loves you too much to leave you like you are.
So I honor Reverend John and Hazel Harrell. Staying at one place for forty years is enough to celebrate alone, but couple with that honor an impeccable reputation, sterling character, a love for study and reading, and a superior communication skill, and one realizes that God has truly blessed us. Our mouths are full and there’s more to eat.
To give away what you can’t keep anyhow is one of life’s greatest joys. I thank God for the mentors in my life.