Moments later, Bloom climbed out of the tank, took a few steps, and collapsed. Soon after, he was ushered into the presence of God.
David's death from a pulmonary embolism devastated his family, friends, colleagues, and millions of TV viewers. At age thirty-nine, David was a rising star at NBC. Viewers looked forward to watching Bloom file his reports while bouncing across the desert on his "Bloom-mobile," his face streaked with dirt, his hair snapping in the wind. He loved his job, and everyone knew it.
But what most viewers did not know was that David was a committed Christian. David had grown up in a Methodist home. And while he had a strong understanding of the Gospel growing up, it wasn't until two years ago, according to Lane, that Bloom "effectively came to a saving knowledge of Jesus and started a real faith journey."
Bloom joined the New Canaan Society, a weekly men's fellowship group founded by Lane and my former colleague Eric Metaxas. I met Bloom several times as a guest of that fellowship, and we became friends. I was struck by the sincerity of his Christian faith. He was hungry for knowledge of God and how his faith ought to play out in his life.
On the day he died, Lane says, "David was in a very good place, at peace with himself, his faith, and his family." That peace was reflected in the last message he would ever send to his wife, Melanie—one that reveals that, in the middle of a desert battlefield, his own mortality was very much on his mind. Bloom wrote: "When the moment comes in my life when you are talking about my last day, I am determined that you and others will say, 'He was devoted to his wife and children; he was admired; he gave every ounce of his being for those whom he cared most about—not himself, but God and his family.'"
Yesterday Lane spoke at a memorial service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Speaking before America's most powerful media figures, Lane told a simple story about a man who loved and served Jesus Christ. It was a side of their colleague that many of them had never really known—a side scarcely mentioned in the voluminous media coverage of his death.
At the end of his April 5 devotional reading, Oswald Chambers writes: "The cross of Christ was a . . . sign that our Lord had triumphed . . . to save the human race." I thank God for that triumph in the short life of this ebullient, gifted man, and I pray that his posthumous witness will inspire others to seek out the God he served.
C. S. Lewis once said that Christians never have to say good-bye. So, to my dear brother David, I say simply, au revoir.
For further reading and information:
Send notes with condolences to David Bloom's family at BloomFamily@NBC.com, or mail to The Bloom Family, c/o NBC, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112.
David's friends have established a trust for the benefit of his three daughters. Donations in memoriam may be sent to David Bloom Children's Trust, c/o Latham & Watkins, 885 3rd Avenue, Suite 1000, New York, NY 10022.
"Remembering David Bloom," MSNBC, April 6, 2003.
"David Bloom, 39, of New York," MSNBC, April 9, 2003.
Jonathan Alter, "Consummate Pro with a Human Touch," Newsweek, April 6, 2003.
"NBC Correspondent David Bloom Dies in Iraq," Washington Post, April 6, 2003.