Brother Hamilton started coming to First Assembly many years ago after being invited by our pastor. He retired and had no home church. We welcomed this sweet man and his wife into our congregation, as part of the pastoral staff. I don't know if it were officially or not, but he became a welcome addition.
I knew him best from our Tuesday morning prayer meetings. He and Sister Hamilton were seasoned prayer warriors. They also knew a good breakfast after a solid hour of prayer complemented each other. They invited me along to Eat-N-Park. The wait staff gladly greeted him, as his smile and folksy sense of humor drew them to him. Brother Hamilton, ready always with a corny joke or comeback, I imagined they fought over who would wait on him.
One of the fun things Brother Hamilton quipped, "I'm so happy, I should be two people." A twinkle in his eye suggested he was telling the truth.
Acquainted with grief as well, he listened with a tender heart. Prayers always on his heart to lift up for troubles that these workers brought to him. I do believe these non-church goers sensed Jesus in this gentle man and his quiet wife.
He wore checkered shirts, knitted vests comfortably. Sundays, suits fitted him, but not as well as the every day clothes. He was an every day man. Yet, I knew he possessed a strength hidden under the common demeanor. And a powerful love for the Man that died for his sins.
He wrote, too. One poem about Jesus, Pastor Ken would read for the occasion. I'm sure all the sermons he composed were powerful.
Brother Hamilton declined in his health and spent his final days in a nursing home. As his son remarked:
This Monday 9/30 will be the 1st anniversary of Rev. William Hamilton's passing. I only feel honor at being the son of someone who caused such positive "life-changes" for many. Other than missing his physical presence, there is no sadness.... celebrate his life in some little way.
This post is my way of celebrating my friend in some little way. He is missed, as our saints that influenced us in some way are, but we grieve not as the rest of mankind, for we know they are with the Lord Jesus Christ.