Two of the most tender times in life are marked by birth and death. And while both hold the import of life-changing moments, this past week, as we said good-bye to longtime Trinity member and friend, Keith Sparrow, I was struck by the confluence of emotions revealed when someone we love is no longer with us.
Unlike birth, which marks a clear beginning and, with God’s grace, an immediate and sustained presence where before there was none, death is altogether different as physical presence ends but deep and abiding love and memories often live on. Our faith makes bold claims about eternal life and we cling to the promise that though life is changed it is in many ways not ended.
One of the ways that life is sustained is through the legacy each of us will leave when we are no longer here. Whether quiet or brash, timid or bold, each life bears the divine light of a God that comes to us and through us in ways sometimes too mysterious to understand or sometimes recognize. Other times God seems to be showing off with wild, extravagant gestures when there is a life so well-lived and loved; as was clearly the case with our Keithley.
In her beautiful remarks during Wednesday’s Memorial service, his beloved wife Sue spoke such tender words describing how Keith lived his life and what she will try to honor and emulate. Take these words into your hearts today, remember fondly the life of Keithley Bowen Sparrow and hold on to the promise that his soul will rest eternal. Now our job is to honor his memory through grafting some of his generous, beautiful spirit into our lives going forward.
When possible give gifts to people.
Be curious, learn and read- protect the printed word.
Be social, engage with others and protect your community.
Say yes as often as you can, persevere and keep going.
Help others as often as you can- especially in small and quiet ways.
Put people before things.
Make sure the people you love know you love them.
-Offered by Keith’s wife, Sue Smitley
“Come home” (while staying at home) this Sunday as we will gather again as a growing community leaning into the heart of God. We will continue to make our way through the 10th chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew and the 3rd of our 4 Questions making up the sermon series: How Then Shall We Live. We will ask: How shall we live, knowing we will die? A timely question to ask indeed. There are angels all around…
May you never forget that you are loved,