On Sunday evening, I was shocked to learn that one of Nashville’s best local DJs (and one of my favorites on Lightning 100) had passed away unexpectedly. David Hall was just a few years younger than my parents and was known as “the voice of Nashville rock radio.” Even those who didn’t listen to WRLT for hours every day (like me) were very familiar with his favorite slogan (“David Hall rocks, y’all!) and his role in Lightning 100’s Sunday Night shows, where he served as host and introduced the acts.
I never met David Hall personally. We never shook hands, traded names, or had a conversation. We’ve stood in the same room once or twice when I went to a Sunday night show and it was often his voice on the radio that accompanied me on my drive home from work. I didn’t know David Hall, but I felt sort of like we were friends.
The news of his passing made me sad, an admission I made to a few friends yesterday, some of whom seemed flummoxed as to why I’d mourn a man I never actually met. But I can’t explain it. I’m sad that he’s gone. I’m sad that I won’t ever hear him interview another musician. I’m sad that I won’t hear the laughter in his voice on my drive home. I’m sad that a light has gone out in this world.
“Life is fragile,” said one of my friends when I told him about David Hall’s passing.
And indeed it is. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow or even the next breath, but in today’s busy world, we often forget that. We forget that this world isn’t perfect or even going to last forever. We’ve learned to silence that yearning inside ourselves that calls for something more, that senses hope only God can give. Death, especially when it comes unexpectedly, is a reminder that everything is not as it should be. That earth isn’t perfect, and it isn’t home.
Life is fragile. There are moments of sheer beauty and love that take your breath away, but there are also moments of deep grief and disappointment. In those moments, listen for the part of you that yearns for something more.
“Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.”
― Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons