Jennifer asked me to write a post about this tree we saw on Easter morning. We were entering the Historic Bok Sanctuary, which is a 240-acre garden and nature preserve created for the public by philanthropist Edward Bok. Jennifer and I like to go there on cool Sunday afternoons.
As we were driving on the entrance road, passing through the orange groves that surround Bok Sanctuary, we noticed this odd tree, virtually lifeless, but covered in oranges. I immediately commented that it reminded me of Darryl Barker—dead, but still bearing fruit.
Darryl was a friend of ours who just died the day before. His death came after three weeks in a coma resulting from a motorcycle crash. Darryl was 24 years old, a husband, a sheriff’s deputy, a college student, and the Worship Pastor at his church, CrossRidge Church. During his three weeks in the hospital, many people had opportunities to see and experience the glory of God.
Jennifer wanted me to write this post because, she says, I’m better at this sort of thing. Yet, I don’t know what to write here. Instead of trying, I’ll just let you read a post from Joy, the woman who was married to Darryl and was there with him when he died. This was posted on the website that provided updates to Darryl’s condition.
I want to share with you all the greatest story of life I have ever known. My husband Darry knew how to live. Everything he did was to glorify God and serve people. I have talked to two of our close friends who remarked that Darryl did more in 3 weeks of laying in a hospital bed than some people do in their entire lives. Darryl was always perseverant and passionate. He had no regrets!
As an answer to prayer this morning Darryl had the most wonderful nurse. His name was Greg and I'm sure with his accent Darryl may have thought Allistair Begg was in the room with him. Greg let me listen to Darryl's lungs and heartbeat. His lungs were amazingly clear. Then I helped give Darryl a bath. I got to cleanse his face, arms, and torso. And then Jesus took Darryl home.
Darryl left this earth very comfortable and peaceful. His last moments were spent with me caressing his hands and skin. All through this experience God has shown me that He is in control. He reminded me that we could not control Darryl's life or his death. I know this is hard for all of you. It is for me too. But be assured that Darryl is beginning a new life much better than one we could ever imagine on this earth.
I am not sure what I can add to Joy’s words, except maybe this:
“My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21, CSB)