Wow. What a day. This was the most unique funeral I have ever been to. 2 things really stood out to me. 1) Jesus was the center of it all. 2) Jared is loved by many and touched many lives (and still is)!
As we turned into the road of the church there was a long line to park. I walked inside through the back entrance and ran into Scott (Jared's dad). We hugged and he told me he was quoting my blog in the eulogy where I called Jared a punk when he was in middle school. We laughed and I walked into the the worship center. It was packed already and we were 20 minutes early. They say it seats 1200 and there was standing room only.
One of the things that was glaringly obvious was the attire of a large population of the audience. Jared said he never wanted people to wear black at his funeral. He thought it would be great if people wore bright pink. One girl came up with the idea of getting neon pink shirts made up with "Alive in Christ" written on it. On Jared's foot he had a tattoo of those words..."Alive in Christ." Paige, his girlfriend, told me that he got it so he would constantly be reminded that he was. He played soccer so he used his foot a lot.
There were hundreds of people with neon pink all over that worship center. It was really cool.
The service was the longest I have been to. It was almost 3 hours long. It was not drawn out, it was beautiful. A lot of tears escaped their ducts. I thought I had gotten completely dried out until I drove home. Then again laying in bed. Then in church this morning. God supplies what we need. :)
As I sat at the Nagel's house this week reminiscing of Jared stories we laughed a lot. Joyce reminded me that after I kicked him out she came back for like 6 weeks and sat in our small group each week. Not exactly the perfect set up for open discussion for middle school boys, but a great reminder of the love in that family. What we will do for our kids so that they can experience the best things.
Scott and Joyce both shared as did Paige and Sarah, his sister. They did amazing. Sarah said something that I loved because it was so real. She said she didn't agree with God's timing but she knows that God knows best. I loved that. We don't have to have all the answers. We don't have to be perfect. We don't have to respond "the right" way. I believe God's chest is big enough to handle us pounding on it. He is a big God.
His little sister wrote "Things I Remember About Jared." It was awesome! One of the things that jumped out was that she said several times things that he would do "out of the blue." Out of the blue he would tackle her. Out of the blue he would run and hug her. Out of the blue.
I think that characterized Jared very well. He was an out of the blue person. He lived life out of the blue. You never knew what he was going to do next. That inspires me.
After the service was over we went to the activity hall to have snacks and share and hug and cry some more. It was good.
The most amazing part to me was that there were at least 3 people who made a decision to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus. Wow! That was amazing. The Bible talks about celebration happening in heaven when even one returns to God. I believe more and more of that will happen as a result of Jared's life and death.
Death causes reflection. Reflection is good. I'm not the best at it. I am glad that I am in a place of reflection these days.
Out of the blue