Yesterday I got the news that a good friend of mine, whom I affectionately called “The Big Guy,” passed away.
David Beegle was the Executive Director of The Resource Center at Impact Church of Christ in Houston. He was also an instrumental figure in Impact’s recovery ministry.
But that’s not what David did for a living when I met him.
When I first met him, he was still in the food service industry and about a decade into his own recovery journey toward sobriety.
And he was about to change my life.
David was a member of the Bammel Church of Christ in Houston when I became the Community Outreach Minister there. Upon taking the job, I was given oversight of the congregation’s support group ministry, even though I had absolutely no experience in that type of ministry. I was in way over my head.
Then one day, a big man with a big voice, a big laugh, and a big heart walked into my office.
He introduced himself, told me about his involvement in the support group ministry, and offered to help me in any way he could.
But David did more than help.
He took me under his wing and, through many conversations and lunches, taught me what life was like for the addict and the alcoholic.
Using his own life story, he walked me down the road of recovery.
It was a life-changing experience that shifted my approach to ministry and gave me a deep appreciation for the bravery of those seeking to recover from life’s hurts, habits, and hangups.
A year after meeting David, I watched my son take his last breath – and I found myself leaning on the lessons David had taught me as I walked the road of recovery from grief.
I also leaned on his big presence and big friendship.
As I did, The Big Guy kept pointing me to THE BIG GUY.
I’m so glad he did.
My life, and the life of so many others, was made better because David Beegle allowed God to use him to be an instrument of peace in the world.
And I am grateful.
Thanks and goodbye for now, Big Guy.