The High-Five Man

Jenny Metzdorf

I miss the High-Five Man. He exemplified Jesus and represented all that Northland is. For years upon years, Gary Spotts stood at the early childhood wing entrance every Sunday. He showed love to the youngest and oldest members of our church body. It didn't matter where I parked our van; when my children rounded the corner in the foyer, they sought one thing. Then, when their little eyes saw his silhouette, they would break into a run toward him. With pure joy and excitement they ran with abandon to receive the greatest gift Northland offered them every Sunday. A high five.

That high five said, "You matter. You are valuable, I love you, and Jesus loves you more."

Of course, this crucial ministry had its challenges. The High-Five Man juggled millions of high fives while holding the door for every wheel-chaired congregant that came from the nearby nursing home. His smile lit up as he looked each person in the eye. The adjacent parking lot was for single moms and dads trying to get their kids safely to church. Gary cheerfully opened the door for every stroller and every parent holding multiple little hands as they came to seek Jesus. He brought joy to families and congregants who came wounded, tired, and worn down by the world. He was the first face they saw and that face shined Jesus' light with a blindingly beautiful capacity.

Gary Spotts stood for Jesus' love, and for my family, he stood for Northland. His ministry has had the most profound impact on us. I will cherish every hug and every high five our family received. Our church is better for having had the High-Five Man as such an integral part of our DNA. Gary is with Jesus now and is no doubt awaiting our arrival to offer one of his greatest gifts. When I enter the pearly gates of heaven, I cannot wait to receive my high five from my dear friend.