Divine Connections Through David

Unable to fall asleep last Tuesday night, I stayed up until 4 a.m. doing various things on the Internet. One of them was searching for a man who was my best friend in high school. David Rask and I first met during an eighth grade art class at Central Junior High School in Moorhead, Minnesota. One of our assignments was to sketch a portrait of another classmate. David and I chose to draw each other. Although I wasn’t fond of how I looked, David got an “A” for his drawing of me. Eventually, we started hanging out together.

In the winter of 1980, David invited me to a Bible camp we went to along with other people from the Baptist church he attended. At one of the services during this weekend outing, a three-piece Christian band told a powerful story in between songs. It was about a bridge that spanned across a large river. Most of the time the bridge was in an “up” position allowing ships to pass through. The bridge was lowered whenever a train needed to cross over it. One day the bridge operator looked off into the distance and saw a passenger train coming. To his horror, he also noticed his son playing underneath the gears of the bridge! The train would go crashing into the river unless the bridge was lowered in time. Either the many people on this train or his son would have to die. The bridge operator decided to lower the bridge. As the train sped safely across the river, none of the passengers aboard were aware of the tiny little body crushed underneath them. 

The singer telling this story then pointed out this is what God did for us when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between eternal life and us. Hearing this train story made me feel very uncomfortable. The concept of sacrificial love was so foreign to me for I was very self-centered then. Nevertheless, it was the first time I truly heard the gospel.

A few months later, David introduced me to a man he worked with at McDonald’s. Bill Miller was a Concordia College student who was also involved with a Christian organization called Young Life. The following summer, Bill invited me to a week-long camp called the Castaway Club where I first asked Jesus into my heart. For the next few weeks, I attended a Bible study at Bill’s place but soon backslid after he and his wife moved away. (It would be another ten years before I committed my life to the Lord for good.)

It was also through David I first heard about the Peters Brothers, two Minnesota preachers who held seminars exposing the evils associated with secular rock music. Although I didn't agree with many of the claims made by Dan and Steve Peters, God used them to plant additional seeds in my heart.

Meanwhile, David got into personal troubles and ended up joining the Marines without finishing his senior year in high school. Following a two-year hitch, David returned to Moorhead. We went to a few parties together but gradually drifted apart. Before long I enlisted in the military and later moved to Minneapolis but occasionally returned to the Fargo-Moorhead area to visit family and friends. 

The last time I recall seeing David was in December 1988 when I came home for Christmas. By this time David had married a woman named Kim. The three of us got together one night at their apartment in Fargo.

In recent years I attempted to find David on Facebook without success. It wasn't until after searching through other websites I discovered what happened to my old friend. In 2002, David was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor (the above mug shot was the only photo I could find of him). Three years later, David died in a fishing accident. He was 41 years old and divorced from his wife.

I hope David Rask was in right standing with the Lord at the time of his death. If so, I look forward to seeing David in heaven and thanking him for connecting me with people God used to get the gospel to me. In the meantime, I will keep on fulfilling the Great Commission. Our time on earth is short compared to eternity.

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” - James 4:14


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