My friend Dave P., passed away this last week. He made it to a ripe old age so I rejoice in that. However, I grieve with his family who will miss him dearly. A few weeks ago, he made it to church which surprised me do to his state. He had just been in serious condition at the hospital. While he was there we took time to honor him. It was an easy thing to do. He was very honorable. The salt of the earth and pure gold. That isn't hyperbole. I read somewhere that great men are all around, but truly outstanding men are not as frequent. He was an outstanding, Godly man.
Our church has seen it's share of difficulties. Three big shifts/splits/episodes over the last 30 years. Many people have come and gone. Many people have gotten really emotional and so forth. My friend and his wife had been here from the beginning and stayed faithful and godly through it all. Never bringing attention to themselves, never causing a scene. Just faithful and praying. Doing their part. Even though their friends, pastors and family would leave, they never did. The amazement of that fact can't be under stated.
They were always there: teaching Sunday school to future pastors and missionaries, serving in the some-times thankless role of deacon, cutting the huge lawn week after week, and leading the missions ministry for years and years (Plus a lot more). The only time I saw him fired up is when there were proposals to cut funding or trim giving to missions.
I really can't explain or put into words what a quality example of Christ-likeness he was. A wonderful man. That may be telling. When words can't be used to describe someone, it reveals the splendor and mystery of God using the life of such a quiet, humble, dignified man to speak louder than what is common in the over-produced, attention mongering and self-worshipping world we live in.
I want to grow up to be like my friend Dave.