“It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
I used to meet him sometimes walking through the corridors. He was a quiet man (to me). I didn’t really know him.
His name was Dean.
One day, in the summer of 1997, I went away on vacation for a few weeks. I came back, and as usual, my e-mail “inbox” was filled with various messages. A few had Dean’s name in the title.
I read the first one, written by a colleague of Dean’s: It read, “Dean is in hospital. If you would like to visit him, he is at the such-and-such hospital.”
I thought to myself, “I’m a little busy. I don’t know if I have the time to visit him right now.” I put it aside the e-mail message, and then went on to read some others. It was kind of the “quick, hurry, let’s read some others” attitude. “I might get back to this one if I have the time.”
As I continued scrolling down the various messages, I came across another one, also written by Dean’s colleague, which read, “I wish I didn’t have to send you this message, but Dean died last night!”
Shocker! That’s the Dean that was “still in the hospital” just a few messages ago! Dean — I knew him. At least, I used to see him in the hallways from time-to-time.
Dean, dead at age 39.
I sometimes wonder, did I make the most of my opportunities to share the gospel with Dean — while he still had the chance to hear it, and while I still had the chance to share it with him?
Now it is too late, and I must press on with the fight to win as many souls to the cause of Christ as possible — before, again, it is too late.
Farewell to Dean
Dean’s body is in the ground. I have no idea where his soul is. From my own standpoint, he did not appear to radiate the joy and peace of God in his life. Yet, I don’t know for sure, I really don’t know! I never asked him to find out for sure!
“We must work the works of Him who sent Me, while it is day,” Jesus said. “The night is coming when no man can work.” (John 9:4)
Are we working “just as hard as we can?”