Yesterday, I blogged about the passing of Helen Kemp. She was a giant in children’s choral music. I promise I’m not going morbid on this blog, but there is an actual direction I’m going here.
In the midst of my day, I saw a post on Facebook from one of my dear friends to pray for his mom. I immediately text him and ask what’s going on. He replies, “She just passed away.” I was shocked and stunned. I felt like I was punched in the gut. She had a blood clot that went to her brain. She was in her early 50’s.
Sharon and her husband are dear friends of our family. They treat us like family and love our girls to death. One of the things that I was able to do was to help Sharon learn how to play handbells. She didn’t really consider herself musical, but apparently I was persistent enough. Desperation and needing ringers can do that, I guess. But she tried and tried, and I worked with her and encouraged her, and she was able to ring quite well. It was something that I was quite grateful for.
One of the other things that I am given credit for, but the credit truly goes to God for, is their son Brandon. He is one of my closest friends, and is extremely musically talented. He wasn’t doing much with music, but I chose to get to know him, encourage him and find ways to get him involved. That led to my suggesting his name when a worship leading opportunity came up at another church. He thrived in that opportunity. And I know for Rick and Sharon, that was something they were so happy to see. Brandon just started back to college this month. His first go-round when he was younger didn’t go so well, so now I know that he is going to do great. But I am thankful that Sharon was able to see him get started.
In our ministries and in our churches, we will have loss. That’s pretty much a guarantee as long as we’re living on this earth. Knowing that God is in control, we can rejoice in the knowledge that those who leave us are in heaven with God. And we can ask for God’s peace, that peace that the world cannot give. But it is in those memories and opportunities to make music together that we can find comfort. Making music is only part of what we do in our rehearsals, though. We fellowship with one another. We interact with one another. At least in the groups that I have been blessed to lead, there’s a good amount of fellowshipping going on! But that is a good thing, because it builds those connections to care for one another, to be there when others need it.
While yes, I am sad that Helen Kemp has been called home, and I am sad that my friend Sharon has been called home, I am thankful for the legacies that they have left, and the connection and impact that they have had on my life and the lives of others in so many different ways. I praise God for that, and I find comfort and peace in that. And I pray that when you experience that in your church or your ministries, that you find comfort and peace in those memories as well.