"...and the psalmist says 'God has always been our dwelling place,' always has been, always will be, still is for Kyle and for you. So here is a notion today that you might cherish and imagine-- The reality, the realm in which we all exist connects us in living communion. And I'm imagining that today. I'm imagining Kyle smiling about that too. In some sense waiting for us all, but waiting beyond time. So maybe somehow for Kyle it's all in this great eternal now, I imagine him smiling because in some miraculous way that we can't understand here, he is smiling because we are with him. As the poet said 'There has to be another time, there has to be another place, where all the love you ever missed, is given by the Father's grace.' So he's smiling because somehow, in eternity, we are together."
--Burt Burleson in the sermon for Kyle Lake's funeral.
Occasionally one of the Lake kids will ask me how old Kyle is, present tense. I try my best to do the math out loud, reminding them that he was 33 when he died and that was two years ago so now he would have been 35. They accept the reminder wholeheartedly, but I'm expecting and dreading a day when the follow-up question becomes, "So, how old his he? 33 or 35?" It never ceases to blow my mind the depths children dive in their minds to try to figure out the complexities of reality.
Some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard were given by Burt Burleson at the funeral. I've been to numerous funerals in my life. I've heard meaningful sermons about the beauty of a life well-lived and a good amount of calls to cherish our future hope. Yet Burt's message transcended ideas of past and future. It brought time, experience, and yearning all together into a seed that, if those of us who heard the words allow them, has flowered into our very present lives. He spoke of the communion of saints and how we are all, the living and the dead, on a journey to our creator. And we are on a journey together.
Today, along with experiencing a continued sadness, I am trying to live in gratitude. My heart overflows with thankfulness for autumn and for days off of work that have helped to center and give perspective...for time spent over the past few days with Blake, Jason, Christy, Mark, Brandon, Josh, Lindsay, Roy, Tony, Melissa, Matt, and Brooke...for the upcoming weddings of Britt and Holly, Jason and Stony...for being able to protect Jude and Sutton from the wasps at the park yesterday...for still being able to pick Avery up, if only for a little while longer...But mostly, today, I remember and am grateful, truly grateful, that I had five years to be friends with, to learn with and under, to laugh with and at (and be laughed at by,) to eat and drink with, to argue and struggle with, one of the greatest saints, Kyle Lake. And I'm thankful that, in some strange way I've yet to fully understand, he is still with us, on the great journey to the One in whom we live, move, and have our being.