Monday, May 17, 2010

Even Forever

As it is written,
No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him --
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. 
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?
In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
I Corinthians 2:9-11

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9
Saturday I asked you to pray for our young friend, Daniel, after he was airlifted to the University of Michigan hospital. We were asking for a miracle. God answered our prayers in a way we didn't necessarily want or expect. But it's a miracle nevertheless. 

This post is in memory of Daniel Curtis Parker, a young man that God loved, God saved, God used, and now God has called home: August 27, 1986 - May 16, 2010.


We just aren't able to see the big picture. Sometimes we are left heartbroken and confused by circumstances beyond our control. But we have the express, written promise of God that we will be overwhelmed by what He has prepared for those who love Him.

Daniel Parker loved His God. And it showed. On the side margin of his facebook page he shared this quote:
The Word of the Lord has become for me ... derision all the day long. If I say, "I will not mention Him, or speak any more His name," there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
But Jeremiah 20:9 wasn't just a nice verse to put on facebook. Last summer Daniel spearheaded a Bible distribution effort in his hometown, compelled by a burning desire to see every single resident of Jonesville, Michigan, have their own copy of God's Word.

His love for God was also worked out... the way he prepared/shared messages occasionally at church the way he coached soccer the way he loved and obeyed his parents the way he interacted with his sister and six brothers the way he developed and maintained friendships the way he encouraged others with his actions and his words the way he used his gifts to write computer programs

The last thing he wrote on facebook Friday afternoon was:
I made this :) 
Following the link leads to the program Daniel recently developed, and for his bio he'd written:
I grew up in Jonesville, Michigan and started programming at the age of 12. I had figured I could build something to bring me a passive income -- we'll see if that ever happens. I've since realized I couldn't stop working hard to advance technology that helps people, even if I did have money. I'm a problem-solver at heart. All of my work is intended to show God's goodness -- even in programming. I try hard to put good logic into every line of code, looking to the God who is behind all logic. I lead a balanced and fulfilling life: I've played soccer for many years and coached over 6 seasons (one of them a local high school); I love bicycling fast and far; I sing; I like to teach; and of course, hang out with smart people. But it's all in the pleasurable service of God, who saved me and gave his life for me.
He never missed an opportunity to share his God!

That's been especially true the last few years. We watched Daniel grow up so I know whereof I speak.
His mom is one of my best friends, and she's been so good about staying in touch even though we're 6,000 miles apart. Newsy, almost weekly e-mails fly back-and-forth. Our kids are close, like family. My son and Daniel collaborated on computer projects and software development. The last photo we have of Daniel was from last Saturday when he drove all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Winona Lake, Indiana, for Tina's graduation before turning around and heading back immediately for his brother's graduation from Hillsdale College.
Our church family at Countryside Bible is a tight-knit community and the kids are all really close -- like family. As news of the accident went out, folks got in their cars and headed to Ann Arbor. There was a strong presence of the Countryside family with the Parker family at all times, day and night, especially young people whose lives Daniel had profoundly touched. 

I wish I had some of my old photos to share from 'back in the day'. But we left all those in the U.S. Instead I've pulled some off facebook to share with you today.

I'd like to share something Daniel posted on facebook March 19th:
I am a sinner stuck in sin, no way to escape,
despising the One who made me,
even though He'll claim me back someday
to an eternity where I'll receive my due.
I am dead, but I also have life.

Why? Because God saw me and loved me,
and said, "That sinner shall I set free."
Yes, He loves me -
Jesus completed my eternal death
so that I could have his eternal life.

"Dead man walking" is how David Crowder puts it.
I am human, therefore in myself I am self-loving, which is death.
Life of my own no longer exists.
But since He died for me, I can now live for Him.

No longer bound for Hell,
because His favor is on me.
An amazing gift this is.
Un-asked for. Undeserved.

"The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing."
(Zephaniah 3:17)

God saved me because He loves me enough that He sings about me.
Can't wait to hear that song!
My goal for the next week, or two, or maybe lifetime,
or even forever,
is to uncover and realize more and more how much He loves me.
Daniel's goal for "even forever" has begun: he'll spend eternity uncovering and realizing more and more how much his God loves him.
Daniel Curtis Parker
1986 - 2010
PRAY for Daniel's dad and mom, his sister and six brothers. PRAY for the Countryside family. For Daniel "to die is gain" but for the rest of us, we mourn his absence. We celebrate his life, a life lived abundantly PRAY also for the organ recipients whose lives will improve immeasurably and possibly even be extended by the generosity of a young man who wrote "I am dead, but I also have life" just weeks ago without realizing he'd be able to give the gift of life to others through his own death.


Mandy said...

Thank you Kim.

Susan said...

What a wonderful tribute to an amazing man. We have lost a powerful force for God. Love you Susan

John and Margaret said...

I echo Mandy. Thank you. I still remember Daniel as the 11 or 12 year-old that he was when I left for college, and only vaguely as the young man he became, but to see all whom he affected, it breaks my heart, and gives hope at the same time. Thank you for your words..

Casual (dash) Cottage said...

Kim- Beautiful eulogy. I didn't know this young man, but am Praising the Father together, with you and his family - rejoicing as the Angels do that 1 sinner is saved. Christ said,'The Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost.'
He calls his sheep by name.
Daniel is lost no more. But is praising God forever before His throne.
I will be praying for you For God's comfort to be upon you and your church community as well as Daniel's family--
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, comforts us in all our suffering, so that we may be able to comfort others in all their suffering, as we ourselves are being comforted by God." 2 Corinthinans 1:3-4

rita said...

Beautiful tribute.
Tears are flowing.

Rob said...

This is wonderful. Thanks. I miss him. ~ Rob

The Yorks said...

Words can never express...but you have done it so well...praying for all of you! Erv and Sally from Guatemala

Traveling Inferno, USA said...

What a beautiful testament of Daniel's life! Prayers of many organ recipients families were heard. May God richly bless them and their families.

sara said...

wow, this was so beautiful, Kim. I will be praying for His family and for you as I know it is again hard to be far away.

The Bug said...

I'm just now catching up on my blog reading. I'm sorry I wasn't aware of the need for prayer - but I'll pray for his family - and you - now...

Liz Curtis said...

I will always remember the young Daniel that I went to school with; he was always the nicest boy and clearly a soldier for Christ. As my family mourns his loss, we also rejoice in the knowledge that he is most certainly in a better place with our Saviour. Our continued prayers go out to the Parker family and friends. Thanks so much for sharing his writing with us.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Hoyt,
(It's hard for me to call you Kim.)

It has been a long time since I have been a part of the Countryside Family, but I do remember the beautiful family I once had there. Daniel is an amazing person. His accident was tragic and unbelievably strange. I was working at HCHC that night and unknowingly watched them fly him out. Right then I said a prayer for the young man in flight. I had no idea until later that evening that it was Daniel. You have wrote such a beautiful tribute to him and his love for God. I am going to share this with some friends to hopefully bring them closer to Him. My thoughts and prayers are with the Parkers and the Countryside Family. Thank you again for sharing this. I have been in tears reading the entire piece.

~Lindsey Hurd

Mari said...

What a beautiful tribute to him. I didn't know him, but I have tears in my eyes. What a comfort to know that he is completely healed, and in God's presence!

Aged One said...

Dear Kim,
What a beautiful tribute to such a great man of God! Daniel has "house-sat" for us on several occasions. He took care of our horses/animals while we traveled. We were looking forward to his coming this summer for a visit that he requested. He said, "I'd like to come when you are there." We were really looking forward to it. My heart is so broken for the Parker family. They are one of the most incredible families that I have ever met. Their faith will be spoken of for all eternity! And tho' I know Jesus is very present with them- still- the pain of that empty chair around the table is heartbreaking! Some lives are a long and lengthy novel... others are a short, yet, incredibly powerful story. I weep for the Parkers and, yet, rejoice for Daniel.

Anonymous said...

Oh kim thank you for this beautiful tribute to Daniel. i will pray for the family and friends right now



Kay said...

Oh no. So sad! And yet so thankful he is with His God in eternity. It is hard to 'get' these things..someday we will be able to see what He sees. I'm thankful for that!

skoots1mom said...

oh, my heart breaks for his mom, your tina and all of you who knew him like a son. I had just looked at the pics from the graduation.
Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; wholly leaning on Jesus' name...
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground IS sinking sand.

John said...

Thanks for this post. It is a somber and wonderful reminder to walk like Daniel walked, even as Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ."

In this world we will have sorrow, but HE has overcome. This is what makes heaven all the more attractive to me.
Pray you all are well.

KF said...

Thank you so much for posting this!! We are in Michigan with Rob.
Kristin Fruhwirth

Betty said...

A beautiful tribute. He was a special person! My deepest condolences!

Kathy said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful song for Daniels going home to God. I was moved, inspired, comforted and peaceful all at the same time. Awesome!
This blessed my day! From Ron Wallace's sister,Kathy

Lhoyt said...

It is impossible to say anything that could ease the pain and sadness that this has brought to your family and all those who knew Daniel. Thanks for sharing what he meant to all of you. May the Lord fill you with the comfort that only he can give.