Friday, January 21, 2005

Death in the family

I just found out that one of the people here at KCU, the head of maintenance, died in a car wreck this afternoon.

Bill was an interesting guy. I probably had two conversations with him in the nearly two years that I've been here.

The first was on my first or second day at the University, when I parked my SUV on the sidewalk to unload books and carry them into my office. There was no one else around, it was in the evening, etc., so I figured "Why not?"

Bill came walking up. I'd met him when he'd ducked into my office earlier that day to see what bookshelves I needed, etc., but hadn't really talked to him. Anyway: he came walking up, I thought he was going to help me carry boxes of books from the Trooper to the office, but NO! He told me, "You can't park there," and then he went on walking. Not angry or nasty or scolding or anything--kind of apologetic, really.

I remember that I found the juxtaposition of my expectation--that he was coming to help me carry books--and the message that he delivered--"You can't park there!"--quite humorous.

The second conversation I had with him was a couple of weeks ago. My fifteen year old daughter is going on a mission trip to Mexico this spring break, and Bill was the leader of the missions group. I was amazed at how passionate he was about the work in Mexico, and how emotional this otherwise calm man became when talking about it.

Now I don't know what's going to happen with the mission trip, and I pray for his family--they've experienced more than their share of loss lately, it seems. And I thank God that I got to have that second conversation with Bill, that I got to see and hear Jesus in him while he talked about the work in Mexico.


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