My friend, David Mange, passed away yesterday, 7 April 2012. I am unspeakably sad.
I first met him around 1998 at the Parkwood YMCA pool. We were both lap swimmers and were in the locker room after a workout and got to chatting. David had a winsome personality; he exuded grace and kindness in a way that few people do. I learned that he was on staff with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Michigan State University. If memory serves he had graduated from MSU and then joined IVCF staff.
We ran into each other often at the YMCA and Cherie and I began to support him financially in his work at MSU. After a few years he moved to Oberlin College in Ohio to continue the work there. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor which turned out to be inoperable. He passed away quietly yesterday.
David was a follower of Jesus Christ, so as Paul points out, I do not grieve him as one with no hope:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, ESV). I grieve knowing that David is alive today, in the presence of Jesus, and that I will see him again. I grieve his wife and two children who will sorely miss him. I grieve the students of Oberlin College who will miss his kindness and compassion.
Rest in peace, David, until the resurrection. You demonstrated to me what it meant to be gracious and caring. I wish I was more like you in that way. I will see you again, when we sit at the feet of Jesus together.