Pastor's Blog
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May 2, 2011, 10:18 AM

Creepy...and cool

I am tired today. I’m not sleepy, I think I’m finally getting used to little to no sleep with little Kenlee (my 1 month old daughter) still trying to figure out that is meant to be slept through. But I am just tired emotionally, and I’d like to talk to you about it. As many of you know, last Thursday evening a terrible tragedy struck the Karnes City community. Majestic Balderamos, a beautiful and vivacious little second grader was running on her driveway next to her mother’s car when she slipped and fell under the tires. She was life-flighted to Methodist in San Antonio, but the damage was too severe and she died.
The first I heard about this was Friday morning when Jolee called me to say that the school had called on their automated system to inform all the parents about what had happened. Within minutes Will (a police lieutenant) came in and filled me in with what he knew about what had happened. Right after that the pastor of FBC Kenedy, John Wheat, called and asked what was going on and if the school wanted to make use of the ministerial alliance for counseling. I called the school, but they were swamped and had already set their own programs into motion and they said they would call if they needed us. Literally seconds after I hung up with the school Kimberley Wright called me because her daughter had been a reading partner with Majestic.  The school had called her so she could know to talk to her daughter. In the course of our conversation, Kimberley told me how just a couple of days previously the subject of death had come up and she’d discussed it with her daughter. I remarked that God was good to help prepare her daughter by letting the conversation happen. When I hung up with Kimberley, in walked David (a sheriff’s deputy) who has a daughter one year younger than Majestic. In our conversation he too said death had just come up in a conversation with his daughter, and I again remarked on God preparing us. You’d think I would have paid better attention to my own words.
At this point it was lunchtime, and my secretary Kayla was done for the day, but we sat and talked about Majestic for 20 or so minutes, both agreeing how horrible it was. Then Kayla left, and I got back to work. Thirty minutes pass, and the phone rang. It was the funeral home, and the family had asked if I could do the funeral. I automatically said yes, got some contact info and hung up. Immediately I felt sick to my stomach, and thought, “I wish I had said no…I don’t want to do this.’’ Suddenly, all the distance I had between myself and this wonderful girl was ripped violently away, and the rawness of the glaring horror of her death slapped me full in my soul. I called Jolee, told her I had been asked to do the funeral, and then broke down sobbing. Oh, my soul ached, my heart hurt, and this wasn’t even my child. I remember telling Jolee, “This is the most horrible thing I’ve ever been asked to do.” Who wants to do the funeral of a seven year old?
I started to write her funeral service, and erased it soon after I started.  I pulled out some funeral sermons other people had written for children, thinking I would just use one and not have to write my own, and deal with the feelings that would accompany that. But the more I looked, the more I felt pressure from God, and it felt like He was saying, “Kevin, why are you looking here? Why are you going to these other ministers when you could come to me?” So I stopped, spent some time in prayer, and then sat to write. In five minutes God gave me three things to say and the Scriptures to go with them, and in an hour the sermon was written.
I dreaded the day of the funeral. And I was very worried that I would not be able to get through the service without breaking down. Now I don’t have a problem with crying at a funeral, but as a pastor I feel like God puts me at funerals to serve as His hands and feet.  If I am sobbing, then not only do I struggle to bring comfort, but I cannot share what God has given me to speak. So I asked for prayer, and God’s people responded. The morning of the funeral, texts, e-mails, and phone calls came in letting me that I was being taken to the throne of grace for strength to be able to minister in this setting.
The funeral went fine, and I only choked up once and was able to share what God had given me for the family. Throughout the service I had an eerie peace, and I knew that God was allowing me to feel without being overcome with emotion. After the service everyone left, leaving only myself and the family in the room as they said their final goodbyes to Majestic. As I watched and hurt for these people something else filled my awareness, it was my faith. It felt stronger, renewed, grown. I was puzzled and wondered why it felt that way, when God impressed on me again that it was Him. The words I had spoken about Him to the family was truth, and that truth was a person-Jesus.  Since I knew Jesus, I also knew that I was not alone. Regardless of what this crooked and broken world brews up in its foul interiors, I am not alone but serve a good and righteous God who can take even the worst and use it to bring glory to His name. Majestic’s death was a terrible wrong, and yet God could even be glorified in that. So in the presence of death and mourning, my faith was encouraged and I felt close to Him and loved. God was good, even at a time like that.

How do you describe that? How do you share that? I wasn’t sure and almost didn’t write this blog, but wanted to share my heart with my family and friends here at FBCKC.  Then I had a conversation that helped put a cap on all I had experienced. As I put my oldest daughter Jentri to bed, we were talking about what happens after death.  We talked about how we will be remade and be on a new earth that is perfect and not broken like this world, and that we too will be new and not broken. Jentri looked at me with a half grin, and then said the deepest theological statement I’ve heard in awhile, “Wow…God is creepy, and cool.” And I thought about all I’d experienced over the past days, and I slowly nodded and grinned myself and said, “Yeah, God is creepy, and cool.” Amen.   

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