Nothing bad that’s directly related to me; but Noel Stanton passed away during the day yesterday.
Noel was the Senior Pastor of the church my entire family attends – even me, when I can get there. He was 82; and he was known to be ill, so really it wasn’t a surprise. Even so, when you’ve known someone and seen them on a regular basis for 30 years it’s hard to contemplate the idea of them passing on and not seeing them again in this lifetime.
I’m not totally sure how I feel. Some times I don’t think about it at all, some times I think about it and am happy that he is at rest, and then there are the times when I have to dive for a tissue because it’s just hit me that I won’t see the man again in this lifetime.
Noel had a huge amount of love to give, and made everyone he met feel valued and respected. Even the homeless tramp on the corner who most people would pretend not to see would be looked in the eye and recieve a smile and a short chat. It really didn’t matter who you were: God loved you, so Noel loved you too.
One of my favourite stories of him came from Louise, who used to go and stay at his house for weekends sometimes. One sunday she had been asked to get milk from the fridge for cups of tea (back in the day when glass bottles were much more common), and as she opened the fridge door, three bottles fell out of the fridge door and smashed on the floor; leaving her in a huge puddle of milk – just as Noel walked into the kitchen. If I recall right, his words were along the lines of “oh dear, don’t cry!” and he left the kitchen laughing.
I would say that he loved children; because he did, but he loved everyone no matter who they were.
Rest easy, Noel, and I’ll see you again one day.