Without a doubt he is my best friend.  We shared a common womb, we were born on the same day, we both came to faith in a God who loved us in the same year, and we are both ordained ministers.  Sadly, we both had children whose disabilities took their lives.  There is little doubt that we were both tenderized and shaped by the privilege we had of raising and caring for and releasing our children back to God.  Thankfully we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will see Melody and David once again in heaven.  I am privileged to call Wendell, my twin brother, my best friend.

While we don’t have “Twin Telepathy”, we know each other so well that with a twitch of an eyebrow or the tip of a head we can communicate with each other.  We are both wannabe foodies and love describing the meal we prepared the night before.  When we go out to breakfast with each other, we order the same food: two eggs over easy, corn beef hash crispy, rye toast, and orange marmalade jam!  We often run into people who think I am Wendell or Wendell is me.  We call it a “Warndell” sighting!  Wendell will often tell people he is the better looking twin and asks my friends to tell me he said so.  When they do, I ask them to tell him, “While that may be true, please let Wendell know that I told you I write all his sermons!”

Wendell was an incredible help and support for me as we cared for David, especially though the last few months of David’s life.  Having cared for his own severely disabled daughter and then experiencing her death, he understood like no one else what I was going through and how I was feeling.  He personally lived out the verse in 2 Corinthians 1:4 that says, “He (God) comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”  God often used Wendell to bring me comfort, healing, and hope.

When we thought of starting David’s Refuge, Wendell was one of our greatest cheerleaders.  He listened for hours as we brainstormed together how to make David’s Refuge a reality, he was one the founding board members, and he and his wonderful wife Maryann were excellent and sought after hosts.  His fingerprints are found all over our mission of breathing life into moms and dads just like him and Maryann.

When I describe Wendell to people who don’t know him, I often say he is a “Renaissance Man.”  He brews beer, makes wine, bakes his own bread, roasts coffee, loves to smoke home made sausages and bratwurst, grows a garden, raises chickens, and makes his own pickles.  He loves people, is passionate for others to know how much God loves them, and is an excellent husband, father, and Bappa to his grandchildren.

I am thankful to call Wendell my best friend.  The next time you see him please tell him how much you enjoyed the sermon I wrote for him!