…about whom you wanted to be – you make the choice everyday regarding who to be and who to love. This week I’ve decided to make a choice to move forward by taking a few minutes to look back. A number of years ago I experienced my first death of a close friend; David. I thought it would be appropriate to revisit a few of the lessons he taught me during his time on this earth. What follows is an excerpt of what I shared at his funeral. David was a longtime Christian and while my words focus on that aspect of his life, I believe the message of his life speaks to Christians and non-Christians alike.
The Measure of a Man
Gal 5:22-25 reads: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
When we think of what it means to be a Christian, we think of the understanding we attain when we come to know and accept that Jesus died on a cross for our sins. But that is not the end of the story. The Bible teaches us that to know Christ is to walk out His love towards others. David did exactly that every day I knew him over the last several years.
David was the face of Christ time and again. Whether it be during the various church functions we attended where he would take the time to listen (often into the wee hours) to another person’s plight or during our walks when he endured my rantings on a mired of subjects.
So often David would council others by simply using his listening gifts and allowing the individual to talk through their issue until they resolved the matter for them self. Yet another example of how David had the patience of a saint.
I have a multitude of memories of going shopping with David to furnish his homes (with each item attached to the time spent with him – shopping and talking). But mostly, I have memories of a man who consistently brought peace into the lives of others. Who never judged people’s imperfections even though he clearly saw them, only provided the kindest of feedback when solicited, and always treated others with the utmost dignity.
Lessons for us all from David’s life:
- Tell people we love and cherish how we feel about them.
- Watch how we interact with others, giving a little more time even when we feel like going home.
- Be kind and patient with the people God places in our lives.
- Allow people to come to their own answers in their own time.
- Love unconditionally.
- Always believe the Lord will provide.
This week may we each be blessed to be someone’s David.