The snow was swirling, near-blinding with the reflection of headlights as drivers pushed their way through a winter storm in the windy darkness. His blue truck was sliding along the familiar interstate that would take him home very soon. David was almost home from visiting his grandparents on that cold February day. But suddenly his truck slid off the highway and rolled violently into the median. The reality of death confronted him like a lightening strike. There was the screech of twisted metal and the sound of shattered glass, tremendous impact and unstoppable wreckage that rose above the winter wind. In a horrific flash, the carefree, handsome, sweet young man only 19 years old, was gone.
The sanctuary was filled beyond capacity even though it was a Tuesday evening. A most unusual crowd gathered to pay their respects. This was an unusual group, not just because it was so large, but because it was also so diverse. Besides family, there were former teachers, coaches, co-workers, and former classmates, some from as far back as elementary school. There were athletes, skaters, cowboys and young people from all groups, because David was kind to everyone.
They called it a celebration of David's life. A band played. People sang beautiful songs. A hush fell across the crowd when David's dad, mom and brother stood up to address the audience personally. With amazing strength and confidence that overshadowed their obvious sadness, they all spoke bravely about where David was now. To some guests it was rather confounding to hear how boldly they spoke of God and heaven. How did they know where David was and be so certain that they would see him again?
They spoke of great hope, at a time that seemed hopeless. They spoke of joy and peace, at a time that seemed sad and broken. Where could these things be found in such sadness? They spoke of the true God who is loving, gentle and compassionate. They spoke with confidence about the only way for anyone to have a guaranteed relationship with that God, namely through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.
Scripture says in 1 Peter 3:15- "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" As the private side of David's final days was shared, his hope in Jesus was also shared. "Dad, don't worry about me, I know where I'll be if anything happens to me." David intimately knew his savior, Jesus, and his heavenly Father. But David's greatest testimony at his own funeral was the presence of so many people who had been touched by his kindness and genuine love. They were both lost and found, people he had loved through the eyes of Jesus. As they mourned his loss, their presence testified to David's faith in the true Lord.