Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Daniel - A man worth knowing.

Erase. Edit. Erase some more.

I've restarted this blog in my mind countless times today, and literally restarted here a good many as well. It pretty-much comes down to four words:

Today I am sad.

Driving home from Chattanooga last night it was dark and I found myself turning off the radio as I drove up the mountain. It was a nice kind of darkness enveloping me as I was the only car winding up those narrow roads past Rock City, past Fairyland and past Lula Lake Falls. Once past the falls I found myself mounting a gentle hill, while ahead stretched a long straight path of concrete. The nighttime darkness was so lovely that I opened my sunroof to better notice the stars and... the moon, waxing to it's full glorious reflection of the sun.

I simply had to turn off my car lights. I probably only drove like this for 10 seconds. (trust me it was a long ten seconds) But it was thrilling to move that quickly while basking in moonlight alone.

Despite what some would call a 10 second moment of stupidity, I made it home safely... only to see a post one friend placed on Facebook that wrenched my heart into sadness. It read:
"So blessed to have known Daniel-a man who lived a life of strength, passion, and fearlessness."

I immediately felt numb as I realized what those words meant, and tears came welling to my eyes as they are at this moment. The Harper family has lost a son, a brother and a husband. Daniel was a true reflection of Christ. I never knew him to have a rocky, down-trodden disposition. Instead, his life was about joy and loving those around him: living life with all he had in him. He seemed to truly exemplify the verse "what so ever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might (Ecclesiastes 9:10)." And through his blogs about his fight with brain cancer, I was privileged to get to know Daniel as a man who loved God, loved living for God, loved sharing God, and loved loving his wife and his family.

I was privileged to attend high school with Daniel and his wife Logan, as well as both of his brothers. Let me tell you, it is rare to find an entire family like the Harpers who truly live to reflect Christ. I am confidant that Christ is coming back soon, and when He does, I know He will welcome Daniel into his arms as he calls him from his sleep.
So, to Dr. and Mrs. Harper, Melissa, Jeff, Jonathan and Logan, know that you are each prayed for as your hearts endure the pain of saying goodbye to Daniel. And may God in his grace and goodness surround each of you with his presence at this time.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'"
Revelation 21:1-4
Photo of Daniel and Logan, from Daniel's Facebook

If you did not know Daniel, you still have a chance to get to know what he was about. Read his blog posts that he wrote during his battle with cancer here:

Daniel had a dream of reaching out to the kids on the board slopes around Salt Lake City. To make this possible, his wife Logan is asking that instead of flowers, please send donations to the Wasatch Hills SDA Church and put "Daniel Harper Creative Outreach Ministries" on the memo line. The address for the church is: 2139 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, NV 84109

Let's make Daniel's dream a reality.