There was an empty spot today at the door of Lifepoint.
For the last year nearly every week I get to stand by David Hutton and greet people as the come into the church.
David recently suffered a stroke and is currently recovering in the hospital. Today as I stood there and greeted people it hit me pretty hard that Dave wasn't there to make me laugh, to ask about my week and most of all to call people by name cuz I can’t remember them all.
I just kept coming up with ideas jokes and jabs and I’d turn to tell Dave forgetting he wasn’t there this week.
No Kathy at the doughnuts either and while this is equally sad, i could gorge myself and there was no one there to stop me. So that was bitter sweet.
The good news is Dave WILL get better and he will come back to us but in the mean time his shoes cannot be filled. God has heard out prayers and is working as we speak.
Enough of that, now I want to tell you why Dave, Kathy, Graham, Liz, Chelsea, Brandon and the kids mean so much to me.
Graham was my neighbor for a short time. Graham and Liz were great neighbors and great people in general.
A few years later I was asked by Pastor Kelly whom I’d known for most of my life to do some art for Lifepoint. I came in to meet him and to my surprise Graham was there. We talked mainly about art but before I left the 3 of us had a good conversation about church and Lifepoint.
I decided that since I was going to do art for the church and since I didin’t have a church that my family would start at Lifepoint. Graham was a big part of what kept me at Lifepoint prior to God getting ahold of me again. When I wanted to leave and not come back Kelly, Graham, & Nathan kept me engaged.
So week one there was this dude at the side door that wanted to know our names as we went in. This was of course Dave but I didn’t know his name at the time.
Over the next year and few months Dave was the bane of my Sunday morning. This was before God got back ahold of me (see my story here).
So seeing this guy smiling at me and wanting to shake hands week, after week, after week was just terrible. All I wanted to do was sneak in the side door and hide tip church was over then find a way around him on the way out.
I mean how dare he share the Love of Christ with a stranger.
I found the best way to avoid him was to have the hands of my kids and walk briskly by so everyone thought I was busy.
I snubbed Dave a countless amount of times.
Flash forward to last years C3 Conference. Kelly Nathan and Graham had invited me and basically wouldn’t let me out of it. Thank you by the way guys.
Anyway, Graham not only rode with me out there so I wasn’t with all strangers but volunteered to room with me. Something that I’m sure he regretted after hearing my snoring.
Graham made me comfortable and really helped me be less anxious about the trip.
So God gets a good hold on me while we are in Texas. He changes my life completely altered the course of my family and saved me from a devil’s Hell.
Next thing you know it’s Sunday and I am fired up and wanting to serve. I arrived at church ridiculously early and figured I’d stand at the door and greet with the guy I avoided so often. I thought it might be a little awkward but I didn’t want to go to the front door so I sucked it up and headed over.
You would have thought David knew me forever from the way he treated me. He joked and kidded me. He introduced me to people. He helped make greeting on Sunday the absolute high point of my week. I look forward to seeing David every week.
Not just greeting either. I look for him and Kathy at every church event.
Kathy worked the doughnuts and she immediately just accepted me as part of the Lifepoint family too.
Now during the week I think of little turns of phrase and jokes that I know will make Dave laugh and store them away for Sunday. Also he laughs at my jokes no matter how many times he hears them.
Liz always intimidated me. I think its a teacher thing. So I was kinda standoffish for a while at church. However I couldn’t stay away from Lydia and it didn’t take long to figure out that Liz is wicked great. When I started going on Wednesday nights I was super impressed by how involved Liz was with CR. My wife and I were still trying to get used to the idea of getting plugged in, Graham and Liz were kinda our romodel ideal couple.
Plus now meeting Liz and Lydia at their car is absolutely something I look most forward to on Sundays.
Brandon and Chelsea are awesome. First Brandon has an array of huge dogs which at first is intimidating but once you realize they are trained it kinda takes the pressure off.
Brandon I got to know more durring 5th Quarter youth events at church. His team dominated the scavenger hunt. Next year I think we are just going to give them the prize and call it good.
He also has a sweet bike.
Chelsea I didn’t really get to talk to much but she volunteered to work with Lin one night in the nursery. No arm twisting she just volunteered to work with Lin whom she hardly knew. Lin got to know her and was a pretty big fan. Now that i’ve gotten to know her a little better I gotta say Lin is a great judge.
Then there is Deklan, this boy used to be the first kid to give me five. However now he likes to grin and refuse me completely. Just to be a stinker.
Eli, is new and she sleeps a lot. I assume she's gonna be pretty great too.
I said all that to say this.....
David Hutton is my Hero and a Role Model
Dave raised and maintains a family that LOVES God.
Dave has a great marriage.
Dave works for God in all he does.
Dave’s church is Crazy about him
Dave’s town is Crazy about him
So well loved by so many all because he never ceases to show Christ’s Love to others.
When he first Got sick I remember praying and asking God to restore Dave’s body even half as healthy as his soul.
This is still my prayer even as God heals Dave and as his recovery gets rolling.
I love you Hutton’s Your friendship has made a huge difference in my life.
I want to leave you all with one last thing about Dave. A few months ago Dave posted something on Facebook that I think about at least once a week. I laughed til I cried the first time I saw it. Until that point everything I had seen from David on Facebook had been serious so imagine my surprise when I saw this……
Thanks for Reading