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  • Writer's pictureVicki Viall

When Abba Calls You Home

Every day, seek to surround yourself with those who make the world a better place. Don't imitate them; just endeavor to become more like them in your own unique way!

One such individual was called home yesterday by Abba. I am pretty sure if we were listening closely, we all would have heard Abba saying, "Gary, it's time for you to come Home. You have truly done well, my good and faithful servant. Welcome Home!"

If you spend any time at all in Surf City near the pier, you without doubt know Gary Cavenaugh. If not, think about the man who strongly resembled Colonel Sanders.

Those who really know me, know that I am a shy introvert unless I am putting on my outgoing extrovert mask.

I usually spend my time at the beach trying to be invisible and take photos of everyone and everything.

So, I had many opportunities to watch Gary in action.

I think it is fair to say that Abba called Gary home because He needed a good and faithful servant who is also a steadfast witness and preacher of the Word to become part of the Heaven's Preaching/Teaching Team.

Gary's wife, Denise, once asked me if Gary had every shared his testimony with me. No, I answered. She strongly encouraged me to ask him about it when the opportunity presented itself.

It did.

Early one morning, long before the crowds invaded the beach, I was standing around taking photos - I know, so out of character - when I heard a voice behind me say, "Good morning, Vicki. Beautiful day, isn't it?"

Turning around, there was the Colonel himself with his arms loaded down with the Surf City Christian Surfers tent and more.

I slung my camera around to my back and just jumped in to help Gary get the tent up before the surfers all started congregating.

I asked Gary if, while we were working, would he mind sharing his testimony. His eyes lit up and he jumped right in.

If you ever saw Gary with one or more people around him, I can pretty much guarantee that he was sharing his testimony, Abba's Word, and Abba's love in action.

I have no reason to believe that will not continue in Heaven.

There are so many who called Gary friend. There is such pain in the hearts of many in Surf City. But, there is also such joy at having known such a person.

That makes two huge losses to the community within the last few months. We can all rest in the comfort that both Penny and Gary are watching over us from above.

So, please, don't try to make yourself an imitation of either of them. Just remember how you felt when you were with either or both of them.

That's what needs to be held tightly until it becomes part of who you are!

The best testimony both Gary and Penny gave is to embrace life as they did, love those around you freely, and laugh often!

Thinking about Gary while I was working yesterday, a song kept running through my head. Fortunately for my customers, it did not make it out of my mouth, but it sure had me thinking.

We can be like so many, or we can be more like Gary - always reaching out to others, sharing Abba's Word, showing Abba's love in action. Penny, too!

Just something to think about as our hearts heal.

Rest in Peace, Gary. You will be SO missed!

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