I’m full of tears. If you don’t know yet. My husband Bishop William Spencer passed away yesterday quickly and quietly. Keep all of his children and extended family in your prayers. I’d lie and say it was unexpected, but he had been preparing me in his own ways. Still. I am devastated. I don’t know what to do with myself except what I always do: write.
I am writing a lot of things. This gone be my last post for a while though, so. Consider this my personal eulogy.
I have followed him to the moon and back, served him and under him. No thing that have I done have I not gotten his approval or permission or guidance for 20 years. Even when we have been at odds, I would ask him for his advice and input. I made a decision a long time ago to stay with him no matter what. EVERY TIME I attempted to renig on that decision, God held me to it. There were times when he wanted to leave, times when I wanted to leave, but here at the last, the end years that I didn’t know were the end? Well. We both had decided to be mad til we got over it, and just keep on going because who else could possibly love either of us more than we loved each other?
Of all my public photos, this one is my favorite. I cannot tell you what he was saying—he was good for slipping in a private comment or cracking on somebody at the most inopportune moments. This was that. Guaranteed that he was being absolutely salacious.
But it’s my favorite because of how he always looked at me.
He was always focused on so many things. So many people pulled at him, needed him, grabbed his time and attention, required the ministry God gave him to do. But he would always pause, and just stop doing whatever he was doing no matter where we were. He would look at me real carefully and intently til I said, “What?”
Then he would smile, looking slightly startled, and say, “I love you.”
And I know this to be true.
Whatever life had to throw our way, I always knew that he loved me—even though it startled him to do so—and even more so to acknowledge it. I think it was because of how random I am, how in all my oddities I had latched on to him—decided I would be with him and that was that—and he always thought I would get bored and leave. The most incompatible people to be together, mind you, so I get it. But despite his feelings of uncertainty, he never let me go, and he figured out a thousand ways to accommodate the weirdo he decided to hold on to right back.
And I have learned, living and growing with him all these years (it’s been 20 years), to begin to appreciate the unlimited ways that people offer their love and themselves to us. To appreciate people’s earnest desire to love and in whatever capacity that love is offered? To cherish it. I have begun to understand that there is all sufficient grace in Christ for all that lacks in our humanity, embracing the stumbling way we do nearly everything along the way. We are oh so inadequate, earthen vessels cracked and worn yet carrying the glory of love inside the brokenness. My husband, the only one for me…He had many cracks that oozed with the love of God—and in loving him? I realized that so did I. I have even more today now that he is gone, no longer a buffer between me and the people we served together.
I love this man very much.
I truly hope that he caught a glimpse of just how much despite my very limited capacity. I was always stumbling over my words, my tone, impatient and all over the place, spoiled rotten and cheeky. Never to be called nice…or sweet… I am loud and heavy and somber and silly. But I did my best to know him inside out. To anticipate his moods and needs and be there to serve him. I tried to take care of him real good, figuring out how to be a wife, a friend, a helpmeet.
Oh Lord! Abba! When my works are cast into the fire, I pray this work—the love I have for Spencer—isn’t the part that gets consumed, cuz then I will know that God approved of my heart toward the man I love. I thank God for his life, and the part of that life Spencer allowed me to occupy. He was so beautiful and amazing to me, and I miss him today and everyday moving forward that I don’t verbalize it.
But I do not grieve as those who have no hope. My hope is in Christ Jesus, who promised that when we die in Him, we shall also be raised with Him. Spencer loved God, had a heart full of mercy for God’s people. God carried Spencer in the palm of His hand. I’m so grateful to know that he is resting now. I’m so sorry that I didn’t get to say I love you one last time for his ears only. And I won’t ever ever forget the last time he looked at me as we lay in bed making plans I will never see without him. He paused his phone, looked at me startled, and said, “I love you, Kisha Spencer”.
And I know that to be true.