What a day of rejoicing that will be.
Marvin was this bear of a man. He hugged like God's own bear hug and Marvin loved the size of the God he served. He was a hugger. I remember meeting Marvin when I was in High School. He took a week of preaching each summer at church camp and that was the week my High School youth group always went to. My friends all knew Marvin from years back. His daughters were our age and good friends. So not unsurprisingly there was hugging. But when he got to me, a teenage girl he'd never met, well, that didn't matter to him, I got a hug. I'm not a hugger by nature you see and had never been around men huggers. I found it off putting as he wrapped his arms around me but Marvin's hug is a little like a bear hugging you. Its all encompassing and big and just enough wild with love and joy that you think for a second he may actually throw you up in the air but then that would be ok because there is this bear to catch you in softness and love. Its the hug dads ought to give to their girls but he gave it to every man, woman and child he met. That is how he loved people, in a big all encompassing, wild and free kind of way. He came and pastored at my home church about the time I left university. But he was there when I was home and it was always a pleasure to sit and talk a bit. He met my husband, he hugged my husband and Jonathan loved him. Through the years and the hardships and the joys we'd walk along and every now and again catch up in person with Marvin- that was the best way to catch up with Marvin, in person, because you got the full weight of his person and his love for you and it was like seeing the love God has for you sitting on the couch . I'm thankful for that.
Marvin developed cancer sometime in the fall and went fast from there. I'm glad for that bit. No one wants to think about a teddy bear suffering. But I'm sorry. Sorry for his wife, sorry for his kids, and kind of sorry for myself and my kids- no more walking into Marvin's life and feeling the hug of God from a physical person. But he's free, and being hugged by God (now there is a mental picture, a God like hugger hugging God- wrap your brain around that hug fest). When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout and hug!