Saturday I attended a memorial service for a pretty good friend. He only reached the age of 57 before he was taken home. He was very ill and seemed lost most of the time. He had a very tough life at the end, though it was never all that easy. He struggled with many demons and we all felt rather sorry for him, but maybe we shouldn’t have felt that way.
David was evidently someone we never knew. The small church that held his memorial was absolutely overwhelmed with folks there to celebrate his life. They kept putting up more and more folding chairs. People kept coming and the church was about to burst at the seams. Everyone was so surprised by the turnout. People kept remarking about how many folks were there. People kept shaking their heads in amazement. Even the family, whom we knew were not always on good terms with our dear friend, was shocked at the continued arrival of people.I don’t think I even know that many people, much less would expect them at a memorial for me.
Even more shocking was the outpouring of love that these people had for our lost, troubled friend. We knew David had a good heart. We knew in spite of some of his argumentative ways and boasting of knowledge, he often really did have, he was a good person who cared deeply for other people. We just did not know the extent of this caring. He loved his family and talked of them often.
When person after person got up front to talk about David it was with such feeling as to constantly bring those tears we just got under control to the surface once more. The people talked about him as though he were a brother to them all. They said of David, he saved my life. They talked of how he was always there for them. They mentioned the nightly meetings and the daily phone calls to keep in touch and see if they were okay. This man riddled with sickness and infection, fighting so many demons of his own, lifted others up and held them up to the Lord in prayer and in actions. He was responsible for also bringing many souls to the Lord.
Whatever, you were unsure of about David, the fact that he loved his family and friends deeply and embraced his spirituality and Christianity with all he had was never questioned. He made every person feel like they were very special to him. He said often, if no-one had told you today they loved you, he loved you.
David adored music of all kinds and constantly raised his voice in song. He had a beautiful voice and shared his love of music all the time. In church, he would not let us hear his beautiful voice, but instead just closed his eyes in worship and listened.
The only thing David loved as much as music was probably food. He could certainly eat and he enjoyed every morsel. As one who occasionally cooked for him, I know how much he appreciated home cooking.
David was a pretty gentle soul trapped in a body at war, but he was a friend to Dan and I and we loved him. But as I said, I don’t think we ever really knew him. That was our loss.