There will be countless others far more eloquent than I, and far more qualified and more knowledgeable, who will, in the coming days and weeks, write and speak about The Rev. Dr Ross Olivier, and so it should be.
Mine is simply a personal word to honour a man of great integrity, deep love and generous spirit, who passed away on Wednesday. Jen and I were immensely privileged to have Ross walk with us for a while, and guide us on a difficult personal journey of discovery and decision making, of finding ourselves and our future.
Ross was a man of God who journeyed from one of the lowest positions in society to the highest levels in the Church, and was welcomed and respected around the world. In spite of his high profile and huge responsibilities he invited Jen and me into his schedule, and travelled with us, generously giving us his time, his attention and his love, on a two-year journey.
Ross helped us to understand ourselves better and brought us closer to each other and closer to God. He helped us journey towards a better understanding of God’s call on our lives.
Our journey continues, and we are better equipped and further along the road than we could ever have imagined, because of the love, wisdom, encouragement and time that Ross so generously gave us.
Our hearts are heavy with sorrow for our own loss. We cannot begin to imagine the weight of sorrow that Ross’s family and close friends must be carrying. Our prayer is that their burden will be lightened, just a little, in celebration of the joy and strength he gave (at such cost) to so many, both great and small.
Thank you, Ross, faithful servant, mentor and guide.
Words fail us, but a poem by a Florence Keh, who blogs over at Circuspectives, expresses the deepest thought of our hearts:
While Cherry Blossoms Fade Away My dearest friend,
I see you now and never again
You will fly with new-found wings
To conquer places I have never been
Send me postcards from the edge
Send me dreams that you create
But most of all
Send me love from afar
From people, places that you meet
And remember me if only as
A fading picture that recedes
A needlepoint of homespun truths
In some corner living room
For that is where I will always be
While cherry blossoms fade and bloom
And icy glaciers melt to sea
And feathered cranes to summer rains
You, my friend
To such momentous beauty
Will a blessed witness be
(Copyright: Florence Keh for FlorK 5 May 2012)
- Rev. Dr. Ross Olivier (sacredise.com)
- A Seminary is Born (wonderingpreacher.wordpress.com)
- From Prisoner to Pastor — Testimonial by Revd Dr Ross Olivier (diakonia.org.za)
- Rev Ross Olivier – A picture (carpenters-shoes.blogspot.com)