Kim M. Clark
I didn’t believe text. All the air had been sucked out of my body. Joy and children’s laughter abounded around me as my heart cried out in anguish.
My friend looked at me. “Are you all right?” Concern draped her eyes.
I blinked. We were at an amusement park, our children giggled as they rode the miniature rollercoaster.
I looked at her with moist eyes, “My friend, Will from Zambia, the one who wrote the foreword to my first book, died suddenly today.”
Compassion exuded from her, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
I sat down and read the details. Not feeling well a week ago, Will got tested for COVID-19. Three days later, the test returned positive. Within Forty-eight hours of his results, he had trouble breathing and was admitted to the hospital. Three days after arriving at hospital, the Lord called him home. He was gone in one short week. I didn’t even know he was sick.
“He just texted me a few weeks ago…he and his wife were making plans to come to the States and visit us.” I stared numbly at my phone.
I bumbled around the park, still in shock. Still processing my grief, I attempted to share with my girlfriend my late friend’s immense support of my calling to be a writer, publisher, and nonprofit founder. “He was the first pastor who supported me when I felt the Lord lead me to write a book on hope. I had labored alongside him and his family ‘for the Gospel’—as he often stated—for over fifteen years in orphan ministry. They visited us every time they came to the states for the past ten years. We drove him and his wife to receive his doctorate diploma and even bought him his doctoral gown, hood, and tam as a graduation present.”
My friend hugged me. We prayed for his wife, his four grown sons, and his flock.
That night, I went to the Lord. I wept and cried out in anguish for my loss, for the void from his marriage and family, and for the deep chasm of service in his congregation and the hearts and minds of emerging pastors in rural Zambia.
That’s when I saw him.
Will was glowing. Joy oozed out of every pore of his body. He was absolutely jubilant—completely transfigured.
My heart lifted as I heard his deep voice boom. “Do not you weep! My faith has now become my sight. I'm in the glory of God. I am with Jesus and there is a huge party in my honor and I am hearing, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
I sighed. That’s right, for we live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Then I felt the overflowing outpouring of the Holy Spirit into my heart. “Trust me, I AM doing a new thing.”
My faith had also become my sight.
Despite the challenges, losses, and depravity around us for the past year, God is still on the throne.
And yes, thankfully, he is “doing a new thing.”
It’s funny how God had used my late friend, Rev. Dr. Wilbroad Chanda, and his wife, Zicky, to speak to me that exact same message the last time we were all together. I even wrote about their visit in my most recent book, Deep Waters: Lift Your Gaze 30-Day Devotional. The following is an excerpt:
The interrogation started as soon as Will and Zicky got into my car. “Are we going to Epcot? Did you get the FastPasses? Are we riding Soarin’ again?”
With a stoic smile, I responded, “No. I found something better.” Each time they came to visit from Zambia, I delighted in creating a fun-filled reprieve from their hectic schedules.
Eyes wide, they scoffed, “Better than Soarin’? I don’t believe it.”
“Absolutely!” With a teasing tone, I added, “And you will REPENT from your unbelief after going on this ride!”
They grunted in disbelief, crossed their arms over their chest, and shook their heads.
As we weaved our way through the sea of people at Animal Kingdom, they reveled in my action-packed park itinerary. After all these activities, Will then declared, “That was amazing! I repent!”
Smiling, I shook my head. “Nope, not yet. We have one last ride.”
As we bypassed the three-hour standby line and walked right up to the entrance of the most popular ride in the world, I grinned mischievously.
The attendant looked at me. “Is this their first time?” I nodded. She smiled slyly and told them, “You’re not going to believe it.”
During the six-minute, multisense, immersive experience, I giggled at their squeals of delight. The wind, water spray, and smells simulated soaring through lush mountain ranges, misty waterfalls, and glistening caves full of crystal stalactites on a beautiful, yet graceful, giant winged dragon.
After the ride came to an end, Will declared in his loudest preaching voice to everyone within earshot, “I REPENT!”
Zicky ran over to hug me. As we exited the ride, their excitement bubbled out of them like a geyser. They couldn’t stop laughing.
Aren’t we just like that? Don’t we doubt God when he is actively working in our lives? Will and Zicky’s initial response to change reminded me of my own lack of faith when things aren’t going as I had planned.
God then spoke to my heart, “Stop fighting me and demanding that I repeat the past, the known. Trust me to bring you into the unknown, for I know what is best.”
Kim M. Clark is the award-winning Publisher of Deep Waters Books. She has authored Amazon 's best-selling and the multiple-award-winning non-fiction book, Deep Waters: Lift Your Gaze and an award-winning, supporting devotional, Deep Waters: Lift Your Gaze 30-Day Devotional.
Kim founded Lift Your Gaze, a nonprofit 501(c)3, in which she teaches at correctional facilities across the nation to openly share her message of hope with the incarcerated and their families.
As a former Adjunct Marketing Instructor, she is passionate about helping others and has worked with Fortune 1000 companies like Neiman Marcus, Merck Pharmaceuticals, and Digital Equipment Corp. as well as expanding startups and mission-based organizations. Kim has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications from Towson State University and a Master of Science Degree in Business in Marketing from The Johns Hopkins University.
Kim and her husband Ron have owned several businesses and have earned numerous awards in wide array of industries. She has run two marathons, with respectable times, despite the angry protests from her knees. Kim and her family enjoy living in the Florida sunshine and playing outdoor sports with their active 90-pound yellow lab who believes she is a lap dog.