About a week and a half ago, one of my fellow staff members and a very dear friend of mine, Mark Aragon, went to be with the Lord. My heart was so heavy when I got the news and still is today as I write this blog.
Mark was a sweet and funny guy. He watched me grow up since I was in Jr. High, and he used to make fun of me and comment on all of the crushes that I had. Our families have also known each other for a very long time and done ministry together throughout the years. Mark taught me how to run lyrics at our old church and he even allowed me to rehearse with the worship band when I completely sucked at playing guitar. More recently, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Mark at Christ’s Church of the Valley. He was the Technical Director, and so supported my efforts to lead worship every week. My favorite moments were when he would pray for our team in our in-ear monitors before we started every service. He knew just how to focus our hearts to Jesus. Every once in a while, he would even throw in one of his awesome puns, which would give me a huge smile on my face right before I welcomed people to CCV! His jokes and puns were never-ending, and you couldn’t help but leave with a smile on your face after talking to Mark.
Mark’s memorial service was this past Monday, and it was such a beautiful display of his life and the legacy that he left. The entire service was filled with God. And everything about Mark’s life pointed to God. Everyone who got up to share spoke of how his life exemplified that of a fully devoted follower of Christ. He loved Jesus with all of his heart, and did his best to point people to heaven. Furthermore, Mark was an amazing drummer and musician. So at his memorial service, there was not only one band… but TWO! I got the amazing honor to start off the service with a few worship songs, and his family and friends from APU led out on some very meaningful and heartfelt specials. It was a wonderful celebration of his life. But gosh, what a hard day and a hard week. I have been SO challenged by Mark’s life and the legacy that he has left behind. I hope that I can honor his legacy by creating a similar legacy of my own. Well done good and faithful servent.
I have also been challenged and encouraged by Mark’s beautiful wife Ann. She is one of the strongest people I know, yet now a young widow. And the picture that I can’t get out of my head is the moment when she learned about Mark’s death… she threw her hands up in the air and said, “Lord you give and take away, but blessed be your name.” Can you imagine that moment, and the deep sorrow that she must have felt… but she decided to BLESS the name of the Lord through her overwhelming circumstance. I know for me, I have been forced to ask the question… is that what I would have done if I was in the same situation? I really don’t know. But what I do know is that I can choose to bless the Lord today in whatever circumstance I am facing. And I challenge you to do the same. May we bless the name of the Lord and worship him through whatever we may be facing.
May the beautiful life of Mark Aragon inspire you to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ, and point people to heaven. And may the strong example of his wife, Ann, encourage you to bless the name of the Lord through your circumstances.