Has someone ever left such an imprint your life that it made them unforgettable? A mark larger than life? An imprint that made you yearn to be a better person?
My church family lost one of our beloved today. A special man. A man whose legacy will far outlive even his youngest family member. A man who touched my life in ways I never shared with him.
Long before last year, I knew Phillip Kennedy was a great man. But it wasn't until our early Friday mornings together in the kitchen of the Youth Building cooking Prayer Breakfast, that I learned the full extent of his greatness. We laughed. We chatted. I took explicit instructions. Actually, I only buttered the bread. He had everything else "under control." And that he did.
A special gift hangs in my bedroom from him. After our wedding, he presented us with a framed copy of our wedding program. I cried when I received it and have no doubt that I will cry in the days to come as I see it hanging on the wall.
With a pocket full of Wether's Originals and a hearty welcome, he held the door open to Young Hall every Sunday morning. During my pregnancy, he would rub my belly and say "hey baby." I cry today because Harper will never be the recipient of a special Wether's Original. She will never get to sit as his feet in Preschool Sunday school.
But maybe....just maybe, his life and legacy left such a great impression on me and other church members, that we will be able to share a little bit of his love from this point forward. At least, I long to try to live my life just like Mr. Phillip. Love Jesus and love others. I think that pretty much sums up his outlook on life.
An emptyness is felt in the lives of many today. A space only has large as the man who filled it. But the memories are even larger. The impact even greater. He was loved and he will be missed.
But through the tears of grief, tears of joy fall. Joy at the fact that Mr. Phillip walks the streets of gold today and sings the song of victory.