Initially I know James D. Swearingen as an Episcopal priest and later as a pastoral counselor, teacher, spiritual advisor and hypnotherapist , but that was only a tiny part of his long career history. Father Jim had also been a stock broker, insurance agent, notary public, radio host, real estate agent, and a college-level communications instructor. Sounds interesting huh? He was indeed. Father Jim, who died yesterday after a long illness, was certainly interesting. He was also beloved.
Jim Swearingen was a wonderful, compassionate individual; sincere in his love for helping other people. It was so obvious that he should be a priest and he was so suited for the job. Father Jim was one of those people who wanted to help every single day of his life, and when his health headed downhill, it was a great frustration to him that he was unable to do many of the things he used to. He NEVER gave up though! He kept on going even when he sometimes should have been resting. Back in April, he was present at my mother's funeral even in his frail condition. His wife Lynn later told me that he really should have been in the hospital but he wanted to be present, for me. That's the kind of guy he was.
To do a complete biography of Father Jim would take a good many pages. The important thing to emphasize is that he was a faithful priest, pastor, and friend. He also loved his family and will be missed by his wife Lynn and by his children.
Writing day after day about giving back and doing good, you might think (especially with all the negative stories we hear in the news these days) I would run out of people to write about. As long as there are folks like Jim Swearingen, I will never run out. He was a Giver of the highest class and he made an impact on many lives. "I love you brother," he would always tell me. He meant it too!
Rest in peace dear Father Jim. Thanks for all you have done. We'll miss you.