|“I can’t wear Granddaddy’s pajamas; I’m not worthy!” exclaimed his teen-age grandson, as we were disposing of J. J. Davis’ personal effects.
Most of us who knew him intimately felt that way about him, for he was a man of deep consecration and personal holiness. Though he would have been the last to claim it, he came closer than anyone this writer ever knew to attaining “perfection in love” in this life.
John Jackson Davie was born November 20, 1892, in Gurdon, Arkansas, the son of a Methodist pastor. His own call to the ministry was felt in his early youth. He was guided by this awareness through those crucial years until his ordination and admission on trial in the Oklahoma Conference in 1925. He retired from the Louisiana Conference in 1959, having served churches in Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana.
Among his Louisiana appointments were Kinder, Merryville, Haughton, Sicily Island, and Stone Avenue in Monroe.
He was truly called to the ministry; he “unfeignedly believed the Scriptures,” which he taught by precept and example. He was diligent in prayer and would be found very early in the morning kneeling upon a pillow at his bedside. He set forth in a unique way “quietness and peace and love” among those who were committed to his charge.
Likely to be unrecognized was his alert sense of humor. There was laughter upon his lips and joy in his eyes.
Expressive of his wit, he wrote:
Here am I, Lord, send Bill, he’s better prepared, with greater skill.
I love you, Lord, You know—if you can’t get Bill, then get Joe.
I appreciate. Lord, your calling me, but I’m very busy, as you can see;
So Bill and Joe or maybe Bob will have to do this needy job.
When I catch up and have time to spare,
I’ll work for you, Lord, if the weather is fair,
Now, Good God, don’t feel too bad; I learned this lesson from my dad!
My dad was a good man, you know;
Willing to let Tom, Bill and Joe do the things you asked of him--
My daddy, you know, was a precious gem!
When I call, Lord, on thee; to do something just for me;
Please, Good God, forget the Past and come immediately when I ask!
When it was determined that Brother Davis was afflicted with hardening of the arteries, he prayed fervently that it would not affect his personality in any spiritually adverse way. His Lord honored this prayer. In retirement he wrote this testimony:
“I Am a Spirit”
I am a Spirit, light and gay, I never shall grow old,
I am destined to live for Aye, I am an immortal Soul.
My house in which I now abide may grow old and worn,
But I am just as spry and gay as when I was first born.
Decillion years may come and go and many more pass by,
But I shall live, yea, on and on—for I shall never die!
“Dust to dust—Ashes to ashes” the Preacher may thus say,
Pertains not to the immortal soul, but merely to the clay!
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1973; p. 124 By Roy E. Mouser|