I got an email today informing me that Ddani Aguilar died today, his spirit leaving this world and passing on into the other realm. I was privileged to work with Dani for several years during my time at UMCom, and we would occasionally cross paths as we wandered throughout the city. It was during one of those chance encounters, a funeral of another gifted young artist early in my pastoral ministry, that I last saw Dani. It was memorable, for Dani continued to be filled with an effervescent love and grace, and an appreciation for life, that transcended the death this young man. Dani was a man filled with passion, and that passion was infectious. And, in every situation, Dani’s eye as a cartoonist found delight and wonder, as well as critique and commentary. As the funeral ended, and we were waiting in the lobby, Dani came up to me and handed me his copy of the bulletin. There was a blank piece of paper, and that seemed to be unacceptable to Dani, so he had been at work, drawing a one-liner of me leading the service. I kept that drawing on my bulletin board in my church offices with pride, knowing that Dani has seen in me something that I wasn’t completely sure of myself — the ability to function as a pastor and preacher.
Dani, we haven’t been close, but in reading the news today I realize that I will miss you. May the blessings of the master creator, who created you to create, continue to be with you. Keep drawing up in heaven, and when we get together again I want to check out your portfolio.