Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tribute to a friend
This afternoon we were introduced to the new students at John Wesley College. Dion went to great lengths to introduce us and did a sterling job. When it came to my turn, Dion gave a very inflated picture of Wessel Bentley, far beyond what I believe to be true. Included was a part which described our early friendship, the one between a phase 2 minister in Carletonville and a youth leader. I had to give a response. At first I thought to say “You know, friends like Dion are like nappies. They should be changed frequently. Perhaps for the same reason.” But this is not true, because I do not want to change my friendship with Dion for anything.
Instead I told another untruth. I cited John the baptist’s description of Jesus where he says something to the effect of “The one who comes after me has…” you know the rest. It was in jest. I repent. I repent not only because I cannot put myself and Dion in John and Jesus’ shoes, but because it simply cannot be.
I have a deep respect and love for my friend. I cannot surpass my friend Dion and have no intention of doing so.
This is why.
Dion has always been a kind of “older brother” figure in my life. He has always looked out for me and I can honestly say that whenever I’ve phoned or visited, I’ve always been greeted with a welcoming smile. Needless to say, Dion has opened many doors for me. Being a quiet person, opportunities are not always taken, but Dion has the knack of pushing me through an open door long before I even thought about entering. For this I am grateful.
His honesty and sincerity is something which I treasure. He is able to stand for justice and truth in ways which are different to mine, perhaps ways which require a lot more courage and conviction… and faith.
Having Dion as a friend is a lifechanging experience. I have fallen in love with a Mac, I got a Vespa, but most of all, if it weren’t for Dion, I think God would have had a difficult time finding another person who could lead me to the Lord.
Why this tribute? Why here? Simply because he is worth it. Dion, thanks. No, really, thanks. You have a very special place in God’s heart. I’m sure. I read Church Dogmatics.
By the way, seeing that all the proceeds of our book will be going to the MSF, you are more than welcome to take 60% of whatever is left. In fact, make it 80.