Goodbye, Uncle Dan

Candle{As is policy, the names have been changed, but the story is real. Well, at least to the best of my recollection.}

Timeline: 1980-something.

Maddy and I were in her car on the way to church one Sunday. “I can’t believe what my boss, Avery did,” Maddy said. “We were in a meeting and he took all my work on the project and presented it as his own. Then he had the nerve to thank Bob for helping him. He didn’t even mention me.”

“That sucks,” I said.

“He makes me so mad. I visualize covering his car in shaving cream and toilet paper, just for spite.”

“Ha! Good one. I’ll help  you,” I answered.

Maddy pulled the car into the church parking lot. We grabbed our bibles and purses, and got out of the car.

She slammed the door.

“I’m so mad. Ugh.”

“Shh. Ok, we have to put on our church face now,” I reminded her. I noticed some other folks getting out of their cars, and forcing their frowns into smiles also; with a little tilt of the head to bring their ears a little closer to get the scoop on what Maddy was on about. Gossip is a tasty morsel.

We walked up the steps to the front door of the church. Uncle Dan greeted us with his hand outstretched. “Good morning, God bless you,” he said, as he shook my hand. “It’s good to see you.”

“Good morning.”

“Good morning,” Maddy blurted out, forcing politeness.

Uncle Dan grabbed her hand firmly yet lovingly, and placed his other hand on top of hers. His soft blue eyes peered directly into her steely blue ones. “We have to forgive, because God forgave us,” he started. “We can’t hold grudges. We have to forgive so God can keep forgiving us. Ask the Lord to help you, and he will. God Bless You. ”

Uncle Dan released Maddy’s hands, and turned to meet the next congregant climbing the steps.

Maddy turned to me as we began to walk inside. “That was weird. It was like he was in the car with us. It’s like he can see inside my head.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Sometimes I think he can. God definitely tells him stuff, that’s for sure.”


This was just an average Sunday greeting at the church doorway. Uncle Dan knew God. Of this, there was no doubt. He could not read or write, but he was one of the wisest men I’ve ever personally known.

And he was not really my uncle, not by human blood anyway. He was a friend’s uncle, but he was a Spiritual Uncle to all of us.

He routinely walked up to people and gave them the exact words that they needed to hear at the time. It was the pure love of God that worked through him, not tainted by any schemes of man.


Timeline: New Year’s Eve 1988.

After church service, Uncle Dan came over to me. It was like he picked me out of the crowd. He grabbed my hand, as was his practice, and said, “The Lord has not forgotten you.”

He stopped talking, and up from my spirit arose, “You’re going to get married.”

I leaned forward to hear if he had anything else to say.

“You have to be patient and wait.”

Wait. We earthlings don’t like waiting. It’s uncomfortable.

He spoke again. “May 1989 be a year that surprises even you.”

Well, that it was. It turned out to be interesting. I left the church, and met a man whom I did marry, and have a son with. [The marriage later fell apart, but I still have my son.]


Uncle Dan passed away recently. He will certainly be missed by many Earthlings. But we will see him again in the next world. He was the best example I ever knew of someone who truly lived as a Christian. There was no hypocrisy in him, only love of the Truth. He corrected people’s mistakes, but with love, not criticism. “Speak the Truth in Love.”

So I bid you goodbye, Uncle Dan. Thank you for the things you taught me, the times you said hello when no one else noticed me. Thank  you for helping me believe that God loves me and really does know all the small details of my life.


I heard this song in church the Sunday after Uncle Dan passed away. It summed up his life beautifully.

Click Here




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