This past Sunday, an old youth sponsor of mine passed away. Of all the youth sponsors, Dave Lamb was probably the one I knew the least well. It’s kind of ironic, since he and Debbie were youth sponsors for 15 years. But for all the small group hopping I did, I never landed in theirs.

Today, as I listened to people talk about him at the funeral, I wished that I had known him better. But I still knew what they were talking about when they called him “the gentle giant”. You didn’t have to know him well to see that he enjoyed life. He was such a big kid. Always telling (bad) jokes. On ski trips he’d always have a backpack full of candy and games to play. He loved getting on the ground and wrestling with his son, Ian. And you could always hear his laugh from across the room.

He could be intimidating at first, with his large stature and booming voice. But when you got to know him even a little bit, you saw he had one of the biggest hearts. And that he loved Jesus. Dave had a very child-like faith. He didn’t always have the answers but he had love and a servent’s attitude. He knew what it meant to be like Christ.

Dave was a behind the scenes kind of guy. He was never up front preaching. He was definitely never up front singing. (But he for sure knew the meaning of making a joyful noise. 🙂 ) He was the guy in the back serving doughnuts and running kids to the hospital when they got hurt on ski trip. So many people benefitted from his quiet service. So many people who probably never said thanks. I know I never did and now I regret it. His smile always made everyone feel welcome and he poured his heart into everyone around him.

Dave Lamb, you will be so missed. But you left behind a great legacy. A legacy of love, generosity and faithfulness. You showed Christ to everyone you met and I’m sure Heaven is a little brighter and a little more lively now that you’re there. Thank you for everything you did for all of us. Thank you for being a faithful husband and father to Debbie and Ian. Thank you for pouring so many years into the youth group. Thank you for leaving behind a legacy of love.