More than 25 years ago I encountered a brilliant man who would let me "bite off more than I could chew" academically-speaking. He could give a 'fill-in-the-blank' exam that would make a "preacher cuss..." (well, that was a saying when I was growing up...LOL)...
After passing at least four of his courses (Revelation, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans and Galatians, and I can't remember the last one...but it was a book study), I knew that Dr R Hollis Gause would be a 'distant' memory for me...even though his scholarly abilities and all-around superior intelligence was incomparable. This was 1985...and I thought I knew it all....
In 1996, after ten years in the United States Air Force, I sensed the LORD leading me back to Cleveland, Tennessee where I would enter the Church of God School of Theology (which would become the Church of God Theological Seminary, and has recently renamed itself the Pentecostal Theological Seminary...) One of the first people I would see would be this "giant" of a man, Doctor Gause. His humor, his kindness, and his brilliance had, by and large, remained untainted by either time or circumstances.
Now that I was somewhat older (and wiser), I was anxious and excited to get into one of Dr Gause's classes...and drink deeply from all that he would teach me.
But the most important lessons I would learn from this precious man would be outside of the academic classroom, and more in the auditorium of life. I watched him care for his completely bedridden wife, Sister Beaulah Gause, as she withered away from the plague of Alzheimer's disease. He cared for her continually, and rarely left her side for anything more than his professional responsibilities at the Seminary. He demonstrated the absolute LOVE OF CHRIST where all of us could see it, and see what it should look like in every day life.
I'll always remember Holy Week, 1997. I was working the night shift at Bradley Memorial Hospital....I received a call that my favorite aunt had just passed on to heaven. I had just talked with her the day before on the phone. I was devastated. I called Brother Gause...and this sweet, kind man prayed for me...over the telephone, and was just the "face of Jesus" for me in this terrible shock.
Every time I have "an issue" that I need wisdom, clarity, and truth spoken into my being, I know that I can call two people. Dr R Hollis Gause is one of those two people. He is such a father to me in so many ways. My heart is always enriched every time I hear his voice, and my walk with Christ is always encouraged with his wisdom and kindness. He has been BEYOND GENEROUS to me in so many ways.....with his time, his love, his wisdom, and with himself.
He is a supreme treasure in my life. He is everything I want to be when I grow "older": A sweet, kind, loving man who is the "face of Jesus" to many who encounter him. He is my hero!