Taste and See

Last Friday morning I woke up to see that I had missed a call just after 5:00 a.m. Shortly after noticing that I received a second call. Both calls were from old friends I had not seen in several years. Those kinds of early morning calls do not usually bring news you want to hear, and this one was no different. My youth minister and friend, Ed McGaughy, had passed away. After our worship service Sunday evening, I drove to Mobile, Alabama for his memorial service. I hope you will be encouraged by learning a little more about him.

I first met Ed when I was a teenager. I could not tell you exactly where we first connected, because he was involved in so many things that I was a part of. Before he was in youth ministry, Ed and his brother, David, helped out with our high school band. Ed and his wife, Cathy, directed the Vacation Bible School at one of the local churches. At a church of 275 members, they grew the VBS attendance to over 600 kids. When I was in high school, Ed managed a patio furniture and mattress store where one of my good friends was the delivery guy. I would spend many afternoons and summers at the store, helping out with deliveries, playing cards and mostly…laughing. No matter the setting, Ed was always the loudest guy in the room, and he had a laugh that was infectious. Since hearing of his death last week, I’ve thought several times about Ed’s laugh.

While he ran the patio furniture store, Ed also became the part-time youth minster at the church I attended. For the last two years of high school I spent most of my Sunday evenings after worship at Ed and Cathy’s house. We ate, sang, talked about God and life, played cards and did a whole lot of laughing. He later went into youth ministry full time and blessed more teens in the same way. At his memorial service on Monday, I heard so many stories from people who had that same experience. All of us had a few more shared thoughts.

Ed loved God. So many conversations with Ed would come back to how great our God is and how He works in our lives. Ed loved his kids. He had four sons. When he and Cathy opened their home to group after group of teenagers on Sunday evenings, he would disappear from the card game, discussion or movie for a few minutes. We soon realized he was with his kids praying with them and getting them ready for bed. He never missed out on that. Ed loved his wife. Early in marriage, he and Cathy had a severe car accident where she nearly died and had a lengthy recovery process. He was by her side every step of the way. Later in life when Ed’s health began to decline, she was there for him. In the years between they modeled a Christian marriage to all of us who knew them. Most of all they helped us see God more clearly.

Ed’s favorite verse, Psalm 34:8, was shared at the service: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” He lived a life that taught us what that looks like. I was reminded this week how each of us can have the influence to show others that we believe the Lord is good. Let’s all take refuge in Him, so the world around us can see Him more clearly.
– Brian

One Response to “Taste and See”

  1. Cathy McGaughy says:

    Brian, what a kind tribute!! He did have the best laugh in the world, and I miss it and him so much!! Thank you for being our friend and loving us so much!! We loved all the time spent with you in our home, and were so blessed to spend time with you and Stacy and your sons in your home!! You have a wonderful family. I will treasure your article. May God continue to bless your ministry.

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