I am thankful for being a friend of Colin Mackenzie’s

Pastor's eulogy over the death of community-minded person.

By Rob McArthur

My original intention was to write this article about having a good attitude, adopting change and being community minded. All of that changed last week when I heard of the tragic passing of Colin Mackenzie, the owner of Ponoka’s No Frills, due to a recreational accident.

Colin Mackenzie was my friend.

I spend a lot of time at No Frills. Ask the staff. I am in the store an average of eight to 10 times a week. Usually, when we visit a business, we do so for the purpose of doing business. Occasionally, we develop a rapport with staff and/or owners that may progress beyond the typical sociable banter, but rarely does it go past that into the realm of friendship.

Back in the spring, I made a decision that I didn’t want Colin Mackenzie to be just another person I made chit chat with while at the grocery store. I decided that I wanted to be his friend, and so the next time I saw him while shopping, I approached him and asked if he and his lovely wife, Patsy, wanted to come for dinner. Colin kindly accepted. A few weeks later, the Mackenzies came for dinner. For the next several hours, Colin and Patsy graciously befriended my children, and the four of us kindled a friendship.

Proverbs 18:24 says “A man who has friends must show himself friendly, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” In other words, there is a cost to friendship. There is a cost to every relationship. Friendship requires that we “put ourselves out there”. Friendship compels us to open up the sanctuary of our home to others. Friendship necessitates trust and a degree of risk. What are those risks? The risk of rejection. The risk of emotional cost. The risk of losing someone. But for all of the risks and costs of friendship, the joy of knowing someone, the joy of having a friend is worth the risk.

Matthew 28:16-20 records the moment when Jesus’ disciples meet him in Galilee shortly after his resurrection. Jesus has defeated the grave victoriously. He is full of resurrection life. Then He commissions his followers to “Go and make disciples of the nations.” Christ’s followers are invited to get swept up into the unfolding drama of God’s redemption and restoration of our lives and the world.

The trouble is, the context for the Great Commission is usually overlooked. It starts with verse 16, which says, “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee”. Formerly the twelve. A tight knit group of Jesus closest associates, now suffering the loss of one of their friends. A lot of people unjustly write off Judas because he betrayed Jesus. However, his life and his tragic death, didn’t happen in an isolated bubble. It happened within the context of friendship.

How could the all-knowing God of the universe ever want friendship with a man knowing it would end in loss? Because Jesus considered the risks of making a friend to be worth it. He knew that we don’t need a gospel that guarantees us a happy life without loss. We need the gospel which meets me in the tragedy that can be life.

My heart breaks for Patsy, her sons, and the staff at No Frills. For the second time in less than a year, Ponoka has lost a great business leader and significant contributor to our community. We are all poorer for the loss. But for the pain of losing friends, I will never stop making friends! I will never stop putting myself out there. The joy of having known someone far outweighs my feeling of loss. I am thankful for the opportunity to have made a friend in Colin.

 

Just Posted

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Standing room only at Ponoka Legion Remembrance Day ceremony

Strong support for Remembrance Day shown by Ponoka residents.

Ponoka based team ropers add CFR crown to their world championship

Simpson, Buhler storm back to win Canadian championship; Green beats Thurston in saddle bronc

Inmate at Bowden Institution dies

Corrections Canada continues to investigate circumstances surrounding death

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

The Bank of Canada remains cautious on future rate hikes due to low- inflation risk

London theatre received allegations against Kevin Spacey

The theatre said Thursday the 20 allegations deal with incidents between 1995 and 2013.

Da Vinci’s Christ painting sells for record $450M

The painting, “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World,” is one a few paintings by Leonardo known to exist

Loblaws closing 22 stores, launching home delivery ahead of ‘difficult year’

“We are excited about our future. But…we expect 2018 will be a difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO.

Ban moves ahead in B.C. against same real estate agent for buyer and seller

New real estate consumer protection rules to take effect in March

Indigenous youth deaths preventable, B.C. coroner says

Trauma, mental illness, drugs and alcohol major factors

Walk of Fame bash celebrates David Suzuki, Donovan Bailey, Anna Paquin

Suzuki says he’ll be thinking of his late parents as he accepts the honour

Most Read