A Prayer Request For The Daughter of Fast & Furious Star Paul Walker!
The day I met Paul Walker was a typical Santa Barbara late autumn day: warm and sunny in the 70s — although, to be accurate, I bumped into him in the evening, and it was at a bowling alley.
And when I write, “bumped into him,” I mean it literally (almost). I was standing in line at the bowling alley to get my shoes and pay for my lane. After I finished, I turned around a little too quickly and almost bowled the guy over behind me. I stopped myself just before I did, thankfully. I greeted the fellow with a friendly nod and made eye contact in that apologetic “Sorry I almost elbowed you in the gut” look. He was cool and very polite about it.
It was Walker.
It was odd for me to meet him because my brother Ian had met him in a different, completely unrelated setting a few years prior: he had been Paul Walker’s assistant at the MTV movie awards in Hollywood. My brother was in the Air Force at the time, and MTV likes to hire military personnel to work these events: they’re reliable, disciplined, and they’re physically fit and trained in self-defense in case there’s a security issue — though technically they aren’t hired as bodyguards.
They hired Ian to assist Walker that evening, ensure he made all of his cues for the show’s program, and (I suspect) to add an additional layer of security around the A-list talent they were hosting. According to Ian, he had his hands full trying to keep up with the busy Paul Walker and his team that evening, but everything went well in the end and Walker dutifully made all his cues.
At the bowling alley, Walker was very polite, and he was conversational and friendly towards fans that approached him. One of my fellow bowlers (and co-workers at that time) was Walker’s neighbor on the Mesa in Santa Barbara, and she also recalled his easy-going friendliness. Although a well-known Hollywood action star, he waited patiently in line behind me (despite me taking awhile to get my lane). He didn’t insist on any star treatment.
One thing that many people don’t know about Walker is that he was a devoted single father. Most people don’t picture the “Fast and Furious” action star in that way.
I will always remember the reason why Walker was at the bowling alley. He was there with his young teenage daughter — probably around thirteen at that time — Meadow Walker and a large gaggle of her teenybopper friends. It was her birthday, and he had taken her out on the town. I ended up bowling only a few lanes down from him, and I observed two things:
1. He was one heck of a bowler. That guy was getting strikes all over the place.
2. He doted over his daughter. It was obvious that she was the world to him.
Paul Walker was a loving, dedicated father. His daughter Meadow was born in 1999 to Walker and his then-girlfriend. Sure, some people might make a judgment here, but regardless of what happened in his life at that time, he turned it around and became a very committed dad. When his relationship with his girlfriend at the time did not work out, he dedicated himself to raising Meadow. Up until his death this past Saturday, his daughter lived with him and often traveled with him around the world to his film shoots.
In fact, Walker’s plan was to end his Hollywood career when he turned 40 so that he could focus on important things such as spending more time with his daughter. Meadow, however, wanted him to keep acting so that she could continue traveling the world with him.
He had just turned 40 two months ago in September.
When I heard the news that he had died in a fiery car crash — no, he was not driving, by the way — on Saturday afternoon around 3:30pm, I grieved for his family. I know what it’s like to lose someone unexpectedly. I lost my mother unexpectedly when she was in her early sixties. As images of Walker filled the news channels and websites, memories flashed in my mind, and I recalled seeing the joy on Meadow Walker’s face as she bowled with her dad on her birthday.
Please pray for Meadow. She is still a young teenager, and she just lost her single dad.
Many people don’t know this either: Paul Walker was a born again Christian. He grew up as a Mormon, but then he left the Mormon Church and became a born again believer in high school. He has been quoted talking about God to the media. He loved to surf and snowboard, and he told one interviewer that the beauty of God’s creation — especially the mountains and the sea — was obvious evidence of His existence.
Paul was also very active in charity. He had his own charity organization, and he would raise funds for victims of natural disasters such as Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. When he died on Saturday, he had just finished a charity event for the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.
Paul is in a much better place now — even better than the snow-covered hills or sparkling ocean waves that he loved — but his daughter needs prayer. I don’t know what other family members are in the picture, but regardless, Meadow Walker needs our prayer during this incredibly difficult time.
If she happens to read this, I can only offer a few quiet words of encouragement — the same words that encouraged me when my mom died: “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:16-17, NKJV).
In other words, Meadow, your dad Paul is safe with the Lord now, drinking deep from God’s living water in Heaven, and this terrible tragedy is only a temporary separation. This world will someday roll up like a scroll, and true reality — Heaven — will be our home. God has every hair on your head numbered, and He keeps every tear you cry in a bottle: “You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8, NASB) Someday He will wipe every tear you’ve cried over this.
Jesus Himself is now with your dad, and as you keep Christ close to your heart, it means that your dad is close too.