Finishing Strong! – A Tribute to Mike Pohlman

When I think of my friend, Mike Pohlman, the one thing that I am sad about is that I didn’t get to spend more time with him. I wish I had gotten to know Mike sooner. I wish Mike had lived much longer than his death early this morning.

A beautiful soul in God’s kingdom, Mike was a rock for his family. His big bass voice was a calming influence to those who knew him. If you met Mike, it was hard not to like him. Even on his death bed, Mike remained hopeful, trusting in the faithfulness of God. A few days before his death, I visited Mike. I went to encourage him, but I left the one encouraged. I had gone to bless him, but Mike was the one blessing me.

What a beautiful life! It doesn’t really matter how we start life. Even what takes place in the middle is inconsequential if we end strong. How we finish is everything, and Mike ran the race with vigor to the end. I am reminded of the verse that says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Mike, buddy, you finished strong and your life is a testimony to us all.

I wrote the following poem tonight as a tribute to my friend.

What A Beautiful Life!
To the end, you taught us all how to live well.
A perfect pitch, a proper tone, a new song in the midst of pain.
While others fret, you never worried.
You gently said, “God is in control.”

To the end, you never gave up hope.
Whether in life or death, you resolved to glorify Christ.
A steady rock for those who knew you,
your pitch pipe will be missed,
it helped keep the rest of us in tune.

To the end, you sprinted toward the finish line.
While others may have seen your sickly body as a sign of weakness,
those who know you saw a spirit that never lost its purpose and strength.
Full of vigor and a countenance of praise,
you followed the example of Jesus who was no stranger to sorrow.

To the end, you encouraged those who came to cheer you up.
Imparting one last moment, word or gift,
you made the most of your final days.
While others asked hard questions,
you simply believed knowing that one day you would receive a better resurrection.

To the end, oh, what a beautiful life!
I will never forget you — Mike Pohlman.
How I wish that I had known you sooner and longer.
Dear friend, my solace is that you are in a better place.
You are whole again, singing in a choir beyond compare. Amen!

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8 responses to “Finishing Strong! – A Tribute to Mike Pohlman

  1. Well said Chaille and oh so very true! Thanks for putting into words what so many of us are feeling right now!

  2. Thank you Chaille, that was beautiful!

  3. Laurie K. Paulin

    I lived near Mike and Patti in Wisconsin and worked with Mike at both Point Beach and Kewaunee Power Station. After he moved to VA, he would always stop by to see me when visiting the station. He was so positive. It was obvious his faith and family were the most important things in life to him. I glory in the knowledge that Mike is at peace with our Lord in heaven. God’s blessings to his family, especially his wife Patti and her daughter Wendy Peters.

  4. Glenn and Sharon Stewart

    Mike and Patti’s wedding was the first wedding in our new church building. What a joyous day it was for those of us at Agape Christian Fellowship in Waukegan, Illinois who had known Patti for so long and rejoiced with her as her life with Mike began. We watched over the years and rejoiced at how she grew in her faith as she joined her life to Mike’s and they followed the Master and grew together in the Lord Jesus. The tribute you’ve written here for Mike is so tender but so strong…very much like the man himself. Thank you.

  5. you truly captured Mike for us all, Chaille. Thank you, Rita

  6. Beautiful!

  7. Your words captured the essence of Mike and a life well lived. What an inspiration for those of us still in the race as we press on.

  8. Lynn Casagrande

    What a beautiful tribute from the heart for Mike. His life was definitely an example of how to love the Lord in all ways at all times. Mike will be missed.

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