Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Tribute to Daniel Fountain, a great man, my hero.


Dr. Dan Fountain has gone to glory.  It is so hard to wrap my head around.  I have spent much of the past 24 hours feeling bewildered, disoriented, profoundly sad.  He was my great mentor, teacher, and friend.  My kids called him "Grandpa" Dan.  Sometimes I got emails from him that he had written for his family, signed, "Dad."  What a privilege it has been to sit as his feet this past decade.

No other person has shaped who I am more than Dan.  I have quite literally hundreds of pages of notes written while sitting at his feet.  I can hardly set pen to paper without thinking of him--all that he has taught me, how he has encouraged me, how he has been an example to me.  I can quote word for word so many things that he has said to me.  He has given me words of encouragement along the way that I will never forget--monuments along the path of my journey.  All of the time--especially when I am teaching--I find myself saying to others, "Dan Fountain, my mentor, says..."

It is somewhat disconcerting how difficult this is for me.  I really do feel disoriented--like I can't think straight.  The scientific side of my brain has been telling me for some time that this day was coming.  Dan was in his eighties, and he had been in and out of the hospital for a year.  I know those odds are not good.  But I held on to him.  I know that Dan is certainly more alive now than he has ever been.  But I miss him terribly.  He has been for me an immovable landmark--an ebenezer stone.  To lose that milestone is more disorienting that I would have expected.  I am in a fog.  But Dan was not the lighthouse, he was just the lighthouse keeper.  Jesus is the lighthouse that guides us to safe harbor.  Dan pointed the way.  God has called me to do the same.  What a privilege to have been his apprentice.  And there are dozens, if not hundreds, more like me.  What a legacy!

Today there is great rejoicing in heaven.  A real hero has come home.  He has been told, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  Dan, we are so proud of you.  Thank you for investing in us.  We strive to follow in your footsteps.  I can't wait to see you again, over yonder shore...

~ Ty

5 comments:

  1. I really appreciate your posts (all of them) and your openness. I am sorry for your heart hurting and I am glad that you see the big picture. May God comfort you in this time as you morn the absence of your great mentor.
    Sincerely,
    Dess

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  2. My condolences Ty. I only met Dan briefly and picked up on his positive countenance, wise and friendly character you described.
    Mo

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  3. Beautiful tribute to a great man. His influence can be seen even in how you mourn, and certainly in how you seek to emulate him as you mentor others. My heart is heavy with you in this loss, but also (seeking to be) rejoicing with you as you celebrate that he is truly Home.

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  4. praying for you brother. I can imagine this is a big loss. It's hard to lose those who led you down the right path (like you've done for me)

    Love ya
    Mike

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