It’s been a rough weekend. On Friday, my friend Daniel Van Note killed himself. It has me thinking a lot of thoughts about life and death that I want to share, and eventually I will, but this post is about Dan.
I didn’t know Dan as well as his close friends or family, but I knew him well enough to like him a lot. We were at Bryn Athyn College together, and he was still there when I was in theological school. Dan was a theatre guy, and I was a theatre guy. I don’t remember the first play that we worked on together, but I know he was there for at least the last few. He worked backstage, I mostly acted, but we’d hangout backstage or in the greenroom, laughing and joking. He wasn’t all jokes, though – he was committed to making sure the play went the way it was supposed to go. He cared about doing his job.
Because we weren’t actually that close, I don’t quite know how to sum up Dan or how I’ve always felt about him. I admired him and loved him, and I still do. It’s not like we had a lot of meaningful or deep conversations, and I can’t tell stories about all our times together. But there was just something about him that I really looked up to. His love for serving others shone through. I don’t tend to divide the world into “good guys” and “bad guys,” but I don’t know how to say it other than to say that he was one of the good guys, one of the best of them. I’m going to miss him, and my heart goes out to all of those who love him.“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'” (Matthew 25:20-21)