Six weeks ago Laurie and I were at the camp in Imuris, Sonora for the first time in 3 years. I was privileged to speak that Thursday evening. Before the service, we arrived in time to visit with several of the dear saints we’ve known for many years. We sat around the dinner tables and we listened and laughed and learned.
That evening in the service, Hermano Roberto Cruz got up to sing a couple of songs at the request of the campers. Then afterwards, I got a good picture with him, and suddenly a group of young people jumped in to be with “Hermano Cruz”. As we walked back toward to dining area, he needed a shoulder to hold onto, I was honored to provide and talk along the way.
This past Thursday was 6 weeks later. And I was in Ures, along with my wife, my brother Leonard and his wife Susie. We were there to honor the memory of Roberto Cruz. He died earlier in the week.
My earliest memories of him were when he pastored the church in Imuris, and I was a small boy. Through the years, he was known as one of my dad’s friends. He had a beautiful voice and a gracious spirit that made it all believable. I’ll never forget seeing him in Tucson at my mother’s funeral, and then a few years later, at my father’s. He came all that way. And he played his guitar and he sang. We all knew this was special.
So, when I heard him get up to sing six weeks ago, I knew it was special. And it was. I got a brief clip on my phone, not a song I was too familiar with, but one I can’t get out of my head now. It was the last time I’d hear him sing.
He served faithfully for many years. He led, many followed. Now, it’s our turn to lead.