R.I.P. David Gentiles
We lost a dear friend last night, and the world lost one of the most caring, loving people it has ever known.
David Gentiles, “the wisest pastor” at Journey I.F.C., was called away from us, and has left us feeling saddened for knowing the we will miss his contagious smile, heartfelt hugs, and unwavering friendship, but also feeling truly blessed for knowing such an amazing person. Amazing because, David shared his love, in this same way, with every single person he ever encountered.
David has been a shepherd for thousands of people in their spiritual journeys and is without peer in his depth of commitment to his faith and to serving others.
While sitting in prayer vigil Friday, I was blown away to find out something I never knew about David. Millions of people, including my wife Sherri, read Don Piper’s New York Times Bestseller “90 Minutes in Heaven”, about a man that was killed in a car crash, later revived, and tells about his visit to Heaven.
While Don is in the hospital battling for his life, David Gentiles travels hundreds of miles to be with Don, hold his hand, and let him know that David, and hundreds of friends and family are praying for him.
“We will not let you die,” says David.
It is David, Don explains, that challenges and inspires Don to share his story about visiting Heaven.
Similarly, I didn’t realize that David was co-host of ESPN Austin’s “Faith in the Game” radio program, and also an inspiration to Donald Miller, author of “Blue Like Jazz”.
Maybe you were blessed, as we have been, to actually know David, or maybe you encountered his spirit through others, like Don Piper, Donald Miller or ESPN Austin. Or maybe you never had the privilege of knowing my friend David Gentiles. Whichever the case, please know that David served to make us live, laugh, love and enjoy life.
Lots will be written about David in the upcoming days. But nothing can capture the truth about how intimately David Gentiles touched people than to read the pouring out of love and grief that has been posted on his Facebook wall or tweeted throughout the week. This, to me, is an example of the power of social media.
Thank You, David Gentiles.
Rest in Peace.