[Springboard] remembering David
synergi at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 6 20:01:56 EDT 2008
Dear Pat and colleagues,
As David's days among us dwindle down to a precious few, I'd like to share with you all a few vignettes and my personal gratitude for having known and worked with him.
Last December I sat for awhile with David by the fireplace in the lobby of the Foundation for Evangelism at Lake Junaluska. We were both tired--well, I for one was exhausted--after an intense Springboard weekend. And the fire wasn't a real fire. It was one of those fancy gas log fires. And the fireplace was surrounded by Chrismas greenery and all kinds of stuff. And of course David was a man of few words.
So in the moments of silence and contemplation in that somewhat unreal setting, I managed a few personal words of appreciation for David.
I had the privileged assignment of being with the McCleskeys and Alerdings on their HDP Consult trek thirty years ago. And edited his voice and image into sound bytes for the ICA's movie The World of Human Development.
I've always been grateful for his graceful presence and the clarity of his articulation of the Word about life. And, over the years, so genuinely fond of him!
I fumbled around with trying to tell him so, knowing how hard it is to find words to express deep appreciation for all of who a colleague really is, including personal triumphs, disappointments, suffering, and tragedy. Knowing that just hearing this was making him uncomfortable! Knowing that I would probably never again get this opportunity. And knowing that many of us would never get the chance to express our gratitude for his life in a personal conversation.
David likes to tell the story that as a college student he signed up for the Christian Faith and Life Community's program in order to get an air conditioned room in the Men's Dorm! That's a pretty funny story, because as your contextual universe expands, you give up your personal need for air conditioning and venture out into a wider world. We all have a first step on an amazing journey which can't even be imagined at its beginning.
David said that at first he didn't think he could pull off that Consult assignment, but then found the courage and strength to meet the challenge. And of course his marriage was hanging in the balance as well. I think our wisdom was that the way to address marital stress was to take on a major chunk of the Mission! Regardless of the ultimate outcome for everyone involved, that trek was an amazing breath of new Life. . .for many, many people.
David also revealed that his appearance in the CBS documentary The Bold Community was "a setup." He said, "We didn't do that." So now we know that his leading a 'Guernica' art form conversation for inner city youth was staged just for the CBS camera.
Well, life in the Order was just like that. You get your assigment, you go on stage, and you play the role you are assigned to play. You've been rehearsed and trained. And then you go out there and self-consciously call people into new awareness of who they are.
And that's what David did with his life for you and me and many others. We can all be grateful.
Grace and Peace,
I had another brief moment with David in 1980. He went to the trunk of his car, dug out a copy of the Golden Pathways CD, and gave it to me. I'm grateful for all the energy that he poured into honoring the Order memory through that effort, along with many colleagues who worked with him.
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