He fed the flock of God!

Eric C. Whelchel

It occurs to me that I have heard these words for the last time: “This is old Shaw…” His own self portrait, his own unique way of talking on the phone; I will miss the expression and the forever young spirit behind it!


Old Shaw? Well yes, he lived to be 92 years old and he did often enjoy talking about Abraham and that final scene in his life. “Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life…” (Gen. 25:8 NASB). I will always remember G. Wyatt Shaw as an Abraham like figure—a man who found satisfaction with life; not selfish satisfaction, but the passion of sharing life and faith with others. If you had any ties to the East Point church of Christ, even as a first time visitor, you will have fond memories of G. Wyatt and Ruth and their sincere passion for sharing in their satisfaction with life. It was never something to be horded for themselves.


I will forever remember G. Wyatt Shaw as a Christ like figure—a man always in touch with “the Chief Shepherd” and His passion for feeding the flock of God. Take the time to read carefully 1 Peter 5:2-3 and you will experience a neat little summary of “Old Shaw’s” life and passion. Although he freely enjoyed all of life’s blessings, his greatest pleasure came in his calling as a shepherd of God’s flock. With such “eagerness” he fed God’s people, proving to be an excellent example to the flock.


He fed the flock of God and I will never forget the many ways he filled my life. In 1976, just days before my journey to Freed-Hardeman University, he invited me over one Sunday afternoon and when Ruth had filled me with an amazing Sunday dinner, G. Wyatt took over by sharing his “S Study System.” An elder, a shepherd over God’s flock, doing just what he should be doing, G. Wyatt Shaw taught me how to study. At another critical junction in my life, just days before my marriage to Teicher, “Old Shaw” did something else that should be so typical of a shepherd over God’s flock. He resisted the temptation to consider it “my business” by breaking in to my life; he invited me over once again and he shared with us his “Suggestions for a Happy Marriage.” I can honestly and lovingly say that “Old Shaw” changed my life in so many ways. Only God Himself could tell us how many times this man of God changed people forever. He fed the flock of God and can there be any greater praise than that?


Satisfied with life, constantly sharing it with others…making a difference in people’s lives—right up to the day he breathed his last!—I don’t know HOW the Lord is using G. Wyatt NOW, but I do know He’s putting “Old Shaw” to work! There is one other verse you need before you will be able to fathom the kind of man we had among us for so long. Yes, 1 Peter 5:2-3 summarizes his life here on earth, but the very next verse, 1 Peter 5:4, places everything in proper perspective. “Old Shaw” has received that “unfading crown of glory.” It’s not some “reward” for duties performed, some “laurel” of victory won. The “unfading crown of glory” means that “Old Shaw” is still growing, still getting better, still being sharpened for greater service, for his eyes are now fully focused on the “Chief Shepherd” he once so willingly followed in faith.


On April 13, 2009, “Old Shaw” breathed his last, but Brother Shaw, you will never be forgotten. C.S. Lewis brilliantly captures what actually happened on the day of your death. Now you can live, Brother Shaw, and you will be remembered forever.


And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle, 210-211).  




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