Richard could tell a story – he really could. He had that gifting which not many people have of being able to capture an audience without drawing attention to himself, because in the end, what he had to say was not about him it was about Jesus.
Richard’s way with words not only encompassed the gift of the story or narrative, he could also teach. Something that many who sat underneath his preaching would gladly testify to.
But my greatest memory of Richard is something quite different to the excellent sermons and the wonderful books – though all of these I will treasure for years to come.
I think my fondest memory of this genuine gentleman will be sitting beside him in my parent’s conservatory and hearing him say, ‘Call me Uncle Richard.’
For that gentle gentleman was exactly the sort of person to welcome you in with open arms and an open heart. As a pastor he was ideal – though he would never have used that word about himself. He wasn’t the sort to brag; When there were others in the room, he would invest in them. A true son of encouragement.
When I spent a few moments reminiscing about him the other afternoon the phrase ‘unique’ came into the conversation several times. But not as often as the word ‘humble’.
You’ll have heard the expression, ‘they’ve broken the mould’ so often used when the ones we truly love have left us. We remember the words they said but it is the acts of generosity and compassion, the things they did, that really set them apart.
Richard Bewes was the sort of man that I don’t expect to meet again in this generation. There are few if any so capable, so kind, so gracious as he. But with the certainty of gospel truth and eternal life that he lived and taught I know that I will meet him again, Uncle Richard, pastor, preacher, author, friend – the mould may have been broken, but he is whole. To quote the title of one of his own books – The Lamb Wins!