The Repairman

July 15, 2009 | 16 comments

I wish you could meet my friend, Dave.

He’s the pastor at the Methodist church in the little Iowa town where I grew up — the church where I was baptized, confirmed, took my first communion. He’s the pastor who baptized our daughter, Lydia, when we didn’t belong to a church of our own.

He’s one of the most committed — and unconventional — Christians I know. And he doesn’t leave you guessing about where his hope lies. He doesn’t evangelize in a pushy, judgmental way — but in a gentle way that says, “I have a Friend that I’d like you to meet.”

Dave wears a huge cross around his neck — like a rap star– only Dave is short, bald and has a high-pitched voice. On the front of his shirt, he also wears a large plastic plaque, engraved with the words: “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”

I don’t know how he could afford it, but for years, Dave gave out those One-Year Bibles to anyone who would take one. He’s the kind of pastor who gives sermons that you wish 1,000 people could hear, but there are only about 30 people in the pews on any given Sunday. You get the feeling he’s not doing it to draw crowds. You get the feeling that he’s really just having a conversation with God, right then and there, in the red-carpeted sanctuary of that little Methodist church.

I’ve heard Dave refer to Jesus as “The Repairman.” Jesus worked as a carpenter, died on the cross to fix the mess in this world and then works in the repair business even today, fixing broken lives. That makes Him a Repairman.

So on Sunday morning, Dave stood at the front of his congregation, which includes my parents, and asked them to go to the Repairman on his behalf. “The doctor is going to be taking my foot off tomorrow,” he told them.

Dave was born with a foot deformity, and after years of foot troubles, the doctors thought it best to just remove the foot entirely.

As Mom described it, “It was like he was telling us, ‘The doctor is going to give me a manicure,’ … or, ‘We’ll have a meeting tomorrow morning at 10:30 in the foyer.”

I mean, here’s a guy who’s having his foot removed, and there isn’t a hint of panic in his voice.

At the hospital yesterday, Dave wanted to wear a special pin on his surgical gown. It was similar to those buttons that parents wear to show support for their favorite soccer player or their star quarterback. Dave’s button has a picture of Jesus on it. He had the button made at Walgreens, and he wanted the surgical crew to see who he was cheering for.

Just before surgery, Dave pinned it to his gown, but the nurses said he’d have to keep it pinned to his room pillow instead, hospital rules and all.

Dave was fine with that, he said, seeing how he carries Jesus with him everywhere he goes. (He never misses an opportunity.)

Dave came through surgery like a champ.

Just after surgery, Dave showed Mom the button of his Star Player, pinned to his hospital-bed pillow.

Then Dave, the patient, led the room in a prayer of thanksgiving. Before Mom left, Dave reminded her: “Keep your eyes on Jesus.”

That’s the thing about guys like Dave. Even when they lose their step, they keep their eyes fixed on the Repairman.

This was originally published here on December 2008. Since then, Dave has endured further complications, having a portion of his leg removed recently, just a few inches below his knee. Yet he continues to persevere.

Would you join me in praying for Dave?

by | July 15, 2009 | 16 comments


  1. Anne L.B.

    Lord, I thank You for the testimony of Your treasured servant. I thank You that I shall one day see this precious brother face to face. I lift him up before You now, and ask that You'll pour out upon Him an enduring and heavy kavod peace of Your presence. I ask that You'll reveal to him his path of healing, for soul, heart, mind and body. I ask for wisdom and skill for every medical person with whom he comes in contact, as well as compassion and open eyes and heart to You. And because it will bless him, please reveal to Dave the profound impact he's had in someone's life on Your behalf. I ask this in Jesus beloved name. Amen.

  2. Just Be Real

    Jennifer, thank you for sharing about Dave. A very special man indeed. I love the analogy that Jesus is our Repairman.

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story, that not only touched your heart but mine also.


  3. Kristen Love

    WOW! Dave is some special guy. I am praying for him.
    Thanks for sharing this. It will never cease to amaze me how many precious people share God's love everyday. I am in awe of Dave 🙂

  4. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    How much do I love that Anne prayed in her comment above! I feel so wholly blessed to be in the online company of such wise women! I also was able to picture Dave so easily in my mind, which was quite a fun thing to do w/ the descriptions you gave! 😀
    ~ Wendy

  5. ~*~Jenni~*~

    I stumbled onto your blog a couple weeks, and have truly enjoyed reading what you have to say every day.

    Thanks for sharing the story of Dave. My prayers are with him– he sounds like a wonderful person.

  6. RCUBEs

    I was going to write "may God be with him" but He is with Dave. For he constantly seeks His face. And that's what pleases the Lord. I should say, "may God be with us to help seek Him daily with all our hearts, like His child Dave."
    Thank you for sharing Dave's story, truly inspirational for us needing to grow in His likeness. God bless.

  7. Deb

    Dave also baptized my son, Nathan, before we belonged to a church of our own. He definitely "walks the walk" when it comes to hope in times of adversity. He is a good man. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Runner Mom

    Oh, thank you for sharing this beautiful story! I will keep him in my prayers!


  9. valerie lynn

    What a beautiful and powerful testimony. I join you in prayer for Dave. What a beautiful and mighty man of God he is!

    Love you!

  10. Carol

    Prayers for Dave. He sounds like an amazing person! Thanks for the update!

  11. Tea With Tiffany

    This touches my heart as do all your posts. You write so well. You think deep. And you focus on others and Jesus. What else is better than that?

    Jesus, continue to give Dave strength to live out your love. Use his testimony to touch more and more hearts for your kingdom. We love you. Amen.

  12. Beth E.

    Bless his heart…I'm praying!

  13. Jennifer

    May God bless you, just as you've blessed Dave through your prayers.

    – Jennifer

  14. Silver

    Wow. This is such an inspiring post about Dave.

    An incredibly powerful testimony.

    connected in prayer,

  15. elaine @ peace for the journey

    God bless the Dave's of the world…those who aren't afraid to wear their Jesus wherever the path winds.

    As for the small town Methodist church, you're speaking our language over here. I come from one; I'm married to one.


  16. Deb


    Thank you for sharing Dave's story. What an inspiration to be more consistent and diligent in sharing Jesus Christ, our Repairman.

    I will pray for Dave. Thanks for giving us this opportunity.


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