Hudson Falls: Homegoing & Homecoming

I was so honored to be invited to share a few words at one of my dear friends funerals yesterday.  It is something special to know that friendships are beyond zip codes.  So many faces and friends that I had not seen in 5-12 years.  Even though I was celebrating the HOMEGOING of Paul Harrington – it also felt like a HOMECOMING to me.  Young adults that were kids when I saw them last and to think some still remembered good ‘ole PT.

I just wanted to share a few of the words I shared about my dear friend, Paul.

“We have an expression at the church I pastor in Long Island called Full Redemptive Potential – that is what God takes us from … what God brings us through … but ultimately what God calls us to.  I can’t think of someone who reflected that more than Paul.

I had the privilege of being there and playing a small part in leading this man towards Jesus and Paul’s life was radically transformed when he met Jesus.

I was honored to introduce Paul and Sheila to one another … and when some looked at me cross-eyed about why are you putting angelic Sheila with pit-bull Paul – I just knew there was something special about this man.  Paul proved his specialness to all of us.

Paul had these crazy expressions that I remember:

  • Come get some.
  • I double-dog dare you.
  • Or he would just stare at you – waiting for you to get it with his cheesy smile and head shaking.

But I was scrolling through some Facebook posts and I found a few that embody this man:

  • i have seen the lame walk – the blind see and the deaf hear > the power of the Gospel is unleashed on this planet – we need to reach and get some
  • Stop, drop and roll will not work in Hell
  • i love my mother BECAUSE through years of abandonment , failed suicide attempts and total ungodly behavior she created in ME the need for what she needed the most ( : Jesus Christ
  • I am not surprised by the positive praise reports after i pray for anyone > what is surprising is what i was and what Father God is making me _ thus God is making a new day of yesterdays ashes –

I think we may all agree PAUL HAD HIS OWN LANGUAGE, but his language although sometimes hard to interpret always screamed LOVE, CARE, FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH and JESUS!

Sheila, you were blessed by someone who may have had his own lingo, but every day he lived he loved you.  And that’s rare in today’s world.

Paul always did/said two things that I will never forget:

  1. He used to grab my hip fat and squeeze it until I laughed myself almost to wetting myself.
  2. He always said, even when we spoke two weeks ago, “You will always be my pastor.”

Paul, I never knew what to say to that … today I do … you will always be my friend!

To the many family & friends gathered here this morning – let me give you a verse that always propels me during tough, challenging times … 2 Thessalonians 3:3 … “But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you.”


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