A dear friend died last weekend. He is one of our bereaved dads. He was one of our BASIS staff for several years until a few years ago. At age 76, Ray Payne went home to be with the Lord on September 2, on a Sunday, which is appropriate since Ray was a pastor back in the day. Some of you who read this will remember Ray. He had a great heart for people, especially hurting parents, especially hurting police people! He is now in the presence of the Lord he loves. I’ll bet he is also now in the presence of his son, David, who was a police officer himself when he was killed in the line of duty. Ray used to say that the Lord was also a peace officer, killed in the line of duty. I like that parallel.
Ray and Barb were with us at our annual BASIS Breakfast in April. He was ministering to his beloved police community in early August. But he had been diagnosed with a cancer which was probably related to the weeks Ray spent at ground zero after the fall of the World Trade buildings, ministering to the fire and police people who were sifting through searching for remains of their friends. It didn’t take many weeks for the treatment, the disease and other health issues he had been experiencing to overwhelm his frame.
I want you to think about Ray in light of these scriptures:
…so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phil 1:20-21
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He … said, “I am making everything new!” …
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life." Rev 21:3-4,5,6
Ray has gained that new dwelling place, where he has no more pain or sorrow and where the Lord touches his face to wipe all tears away, finally.
Ray has arrived! Now please pray for Barb since she will be traveling that path through the valley of the shadow, again. Pray for the Lord’s peace for her.