I never met him, but I have heard so much about him these last few days, that I feel like I knew him. My friend Meghan lost her father last Wednesday night, only a few hours after a sudden heart attack. No one was prepared and no one saw it coming. He left behind a wife of over 30 years, 3 children, and 4 grandsons. As I have grieved with this family, I have heard story after story about Randy Wagner and the godly life that he lived. He was a simple man, an auto mechanic by trade. But this man’s life was not his own and each day was spent serving his Savior.
Meghan said that after his Lord, his wife was his most treasured possession. This was unique because Mrs. Wagner is in the advanced stages of Multiple Sclerosis. She is confined to her wheel chair or her bed and the disease has taken its toll on her body. But she was the light of her husband’s life. He faithfully cared for her year after year, always communicating his deep love for her. Even some of his last words were spent on his love and affection for this lady. While at the hospital last Wednesday a hospital staff member jokingly implied that he would probably like a “pretty blonde nurse” to care for him. Mr. Wagner replied that he had the most wonderful woman waiting for him at home.
In addition to tenderly caring for his wife, Randy spent the rest of his time serving others, quietly and behind the scenes. For years Randy participated in Wheels for the World, a ministry founded by Joni Eareckson Tada which provides wheelchairs to the disabled around the world. As I left his funeral yesterday morning, I passed a photo of a severely disabled man sitting in one of the wheelchairs that Mr. Wagner had collected. He faithfully invited coworkers and friends out to his church. One close friend recounted at his funeral that after glancing around church one Sunday, he noticed person after person who had come to the church over the years through Randy’s invitation.
Most importantly, I have heard how much Mr. Wagner loved His Lord. He loved to sing worship songs to the Savior with his family and friends, and was a member of the choir at his church. He even traveled to other churches to bless them with his singing. Most of all, he loved God’s Word. Meghan told me that he asked her to read him his favorite Psalms as he lay dying in the hospital on Wednesday.
No one doubts where Mr. Wagner is today. His family likes to say that he is enjoying a sound system like no other as He sings praises to His Lord in heaven. I never knew this man, but I have learned many lessons from him over the last few days. He has left behind the legacy of a life well lived before the Lord and I want to be like him.