One week ago today, we remembered the life of our Brother Don Walker. I first met Brother Walker when I was eighteen years old after I moved to San Antonio for school. While I was raised in the Lord’s Church, I had many questions and was struggling in my faith. I was naïve, confused, and upset at times but I was trying to understand God’s Word. I was also struggling with my newfound freedom and worldliness…and while I remember tumultuous times in my own past there was always one figure who away from home stood out and firm. It was Brother Walker. Now I want to say right away that I cannot claim to be close with him and his family. I love Jackie and pray for her and the kids’ comfort, and while we have known each other for several years, it would be wrong if I were to claim a deep friendship that wasn’t there. I don’t have stories (although I remember some funny things) but I have gratitude. It is because a preacher chose to take the time to study with a frustrating teenager. It was because a preacher chose to offer tidbits of advice scattered over several years and drop me “the look” when I needed it. It was because a preacher saw a terrified baby Christian step out from the back row of pews and start to go forward but literally almost fell because she was shaking so much so he walked half way down the aisle and took her hand and helped her make it to the front so she could confess her sins that set me on a path of growth that my parents had planted. Ultimately it was God and His Word that did this, but God uses His Disciples to work in this realm… and I needed work on.
If a simple preacher had not done these things, I am scared to think where I would be today. Something I have learned from the life of Brother Walker is you never know the impact you will have on someone even if you are not close to them. While everyone should be loving and hospitable (1 Peter 4:8-10) it is only natural to have some friends you are closer to than others. That is okay. However, you can fight for the souls around you by simply being there and pointing them to Scripture. Sometimes this happens sporadically with phone calls and short lectureship conversations and sometimes it happens with deep Bible studies. The point is, you choose to welcome these interactions knowing that they are important.
There is much work to do and the fields are ready to be harvested (John 4:35) and while I am sad that this worker has left the field, I am confident that there are more workers staying busy because of his example, guidance, and time he used to pay attention to the souls around Him. Thank you, Brother Walker, for this. I promise to fight the good fight and see you on the other side.