There are moments and days you will never forget. Most of them are filled with happiness and blessing. Some of them are filled with loss. This is one of those days. I remember almost everything about November 21st, 2012. It is the day my friend Andrew Pray was tragically struck and killed by a bus while cycling on Hwy 41 North of Atlanta.
To know Andrew was to love and be valued and loved in return. He was a fully devoted follower of Jesus, and a lover of God and people. He was a top tier Worship Leader in every aspect that goes with that. He invested in others heavily, and was completely present with whomever he was with. He was a tremendous Dad to Noah, Halle, and Carson, and loved his wife Courtney completely. He believed in all of them with everything inside of him, and wanted to see all of God’s plans for them fulfilled. He made all of us want to be a better Husband and Dad.
For me, he was my closest friend. This past year there have been some intense moments of sadness and grief, combined with lots of happy memories and immense gratitude.
Lately when I think of Andrew, which is daily, I think of a story from the Bible. In his late teens and early twenties, before he was enthroned, King David, had a close friendship with King Saul’s Son, Jonathan. They had some of the deepest level of friendship the Bible can describe. It was pure hearted, strengthening, encouraging, and sharpening of one another in ways that we get very little of in our lives. That is certainly how I would describe my friendship with Andrew. Seldom has someone pushed me farther and believed in me more.
It’s unclear how long they were friends. It was for just a few years. One thing is sure, this friendship marked King David’s life for the rest of his days. Year’s after Jonathan’s death the fruit of this friendship brings us one of the greatest stories of grace found in the Old Testament. In Second Samuel 9 it says, One day David asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family? If so, I’d like to show him some kindness in honor of Jonathan.” What unfolds as a result of this question is pretty incredible.
The word used for kindness carries some others with it like faithful love, and grace. For the rest of my life there will be moments where the urge will strike to show that level of kindness to Andrew’s family, and to others that shared friendship with him.
To honor the God who gives and takes away and whose name is blessed, the one who everything He does is kind, and to carry the legacy of those we love, forward consider who you might show kindness to. In doing so you will celebrate life, and write new stories of grace that others will want to read.