May 23, 2013
This Saturday, May 25 at 10:30 am, there will be a Memorial Service for Dallas Willard at Church on the Way to celebrate his life and grieve our loss of his departure. The service will be broadcasted through the church's website. Dallas asked that three people share at the service--John Ortberg, Richard Foster, and I. It is very hard for me to express adequately my emotions about all this. On the one hand, it is one of my life's greatest honors to have been asked to so participate. On the other hand, I do not feel worthy or adequate for this task, and would ask for you to pray that I will sense God's presence prior to and during the service. The Willard family is so precious that I want the time to be a healing one for them.
As I have already commented in an earlier post, Willard was someone who actually achieved genuine competence at life in the Kingdom, and he absence leaves a large whole in this world. Yet, the way he left us was very uplifting. In my research and reading on Near Death Experiences, nurses say that it is not uncommon for people who are at the point of death to see beyond the veil into heaven, to see an angel coming for them, and so on. This is what happened to Dallas. He was given glimpses "beyond the veil" and I am certain that these were deeply encouraging to him.
As for me, I have decided to read Spirit of the Disciplines, The Divine Conspiracy, and Renovation of the Heart in that order. I plan to read them slowly and to ponder how I might use their contents to enter more deeply into the life of Jesus. In this way, even though he is gone, Dallas will continue to be my teacher.