As I was preparing for worship this morning, I jumped onto Facebook to see if there was anything I had missed over the past couple of days. The first bit of news that caught my eye was that an old friend had passed away.
It was not totally unexpected, but the moment we hear these things always seems to catch us by surprise. This one was no exception. I couldn’t find words to really describe how I felt. But now, the words of Obi Wan Kenobi come to mind. “I felt a great disturbance in the force.”
“Few have left the impression upon me that he did.”
When Dave Hampson departed from this earth, his exodus left a sizeable void to be filled. I have known many great men and women of God in my sixty-six years. Few have left the impression upon me that he did.
As I look back, the time we actually shared together was short. Yet, it seems much longer than it actually was—probably because of what we did together. What we did, primarily, was ministry.
“He was a diehard Christian and a resolute human being.”
I’ve never known anyone who expressed more faith in God, who had more of a heart for God’s people, or who so passionately and fervently prayed for God’s will. He was a diehard Christian, and a resolute human being.
We were like day and night. In fact, we were so different from each other I sometimes wonder how we got along at all. In reality, the only thing that bonded our relationship was Jesus. In this case, Jesus was more than enough.
Dave used to make me mad. Looking back on it, I wonder if it was what he did or said or if it was merely some of that Italian blood that runs through my veins. I’m sure I angered him a time or two as well (I’m pretty good at that). But come to think of it, I can’t remember ever seeing him lose his temper. He was as mild mannered as they come.
“Somehow, we seemed to make a good team.”
One of the things we did together was work at summer camps for young people. That’s probably where we were able to shine the most. He was on fire for them to come to Christ and be discipled. I was always the laid back one (so much for the Italian blood). Somehow, we seemed to make a good team. Go figure…
We were the two Dave’s. That’s how some people knew us. In those few short years working together, I like to think we impacted a few lives. I know for sure that he did.
And now, after a long bout with cancer, Dave has gone home to be with Jesus. Outside of Facebook, we never saw each other anymore. We both moved away from Pennsylvania—he to Texas and I to Virginia. I can’t even remember the last time we were in the same place.
Despite the long hiatus from each other, we were brothers. I feel like a piece of my life is gone. You are already missed, old friend.