Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Remember Me

Lots came to mind when considering this meme. I hope to make you laugh and to move you with it, as well. It is difficult to remember yourself when you aren't even gone. I'll add a special thanks to author Brian McLaren who I ripped off a healthy portion of this from.

What can we say about Jared? He was taken from us at such a young age. Who could know that he would only grace the Earth with his presence for 42 short years? But, we all know he went out the way he would have wanted to: drowned in a tidal wave of beer from his fermentation tank, listening to They Might Be Giants, and chasing Lucky the Leprechaun to steal his Lucky Charms. If only that 12 gauge shotgun slug had not strayed a few feet to the right? But, what is done has been done.

Jared grew up in a family of very modest means in a tiny berg called Jefferson, OR. Born to a trucker and a housewife, he spent his childhood years running among the rural forest and mountains nearby his home. He loved to camp and marveled at nature, God's artwork.

When he was eighteen, he was fortunate to have a wonderful woman named Jennifer Marie enter his life. She and Jared married that same year and she remained his faithful friend, companion and soul mate throughout his life. He could be heard saying daily to her that he loved her with all of his heart and that he knew that he was married to the most gorgeous woman on earth.

Much more could be said of what he did or did not do. Failures and successes. Trials and joys. Turmoil and peace. Jared's life saw all of these things.

However, and it was always his joy to say it, Jared's story was caught up in another story. It is a story that intersects with all of our lives. It begins with creation. This beautiful world of mountains and seas and rivers and creatures great and small--the world that Jared loved so much--was God's work of art, God's master creation. But we humans, who were endowed with amazing and unique capacities, plunged God's world into crisis through our selfishness and arrogance, our lust and greed, our anger and violence.

So God intervened, calling on one family to become a light to all other families. God entered into a covenant with this family, inviting them into a conversation with God and about God that would span generations. God and humanity spoke and listened to one another through priests, prophets, poets, and philosophers. This family came to know God not only as Glorious Creator, but also as their faithful Conversation Partner, Companion and Friend. To this family, and through this family, in the fullness of time, came Jesus, who is called the Christ, whose death and resurrection demonstrated the love and triumph of God, not through conquest, power and violence, but through vulnerability, suffering, forgiveness and resurrection.

Those whose hearts were won to Jesus and His message banded together into a community of faith and mission called the church, which quickly became a global movement of people devoting themselves to living life in a new way, a way that would help the world become the world God always dreamed of. Even during times of violence and evil--times not unlike those in recent years (9/11)--these followers of Jesus were sustained by the hope that God can bring life from death and victory from defeat, and so they forged ahead with hope that ultimately, a great consummation would come, and God's love and justice and mercy and grace would prevail.

That story won Jared's heart when he Lord lead him down a difficult path in His 26th year of life. As a matter of fact, he could often be heard relating with passion how each portion of this story gripped him, and how important and urgent it was for the world to hear the whole story of God's redemptive desires and intentions for all of creation in hopes that it would catch others' hearts as well.

I know He would have wanted me to tell you the good news about God, who launched our story full of adventure, freedom, potential and promise. Then, in the middle of the story, the heart of God was expressed in a powerful and profound way, beyond words, in flesh and blood, as one of us, walking with us, suffering with us, calling all people to engage their personal and local stories with this glorious and global one. As we look ahead to the end of the story, we see God, waiting with open arms to gather us, and to salvage or harvest from our individual histories--as from all of history--all that is good, beautiful and true, to resurrect all that is noble from this creation to fly free in the new creation. Jared has preceded us to the end of the story, and he has been gathered into those arms, and all that was good, beautiful and true about him has been saved and will never be lost, but will be set free to live and grow in ways that we can hardly begin to imagine.

If he were here today, he would ask you to consider entering into that conversation with God, no more and no less complex than that. Consider the message of hope, peace, love and joy that He has been attempting to communicate with us since the dawn of our lives. Consider the foolish revolution where defeat becomes victory, hate turns to passionate love, and love becomes the real weapon that ends all war causing man to beat his swords into plowshares and melt his guns down to be poured into vehicles for the communication and realization of His peace...let us pray.

Loving Father, you have paid the ultimate price to communicate with us the seriousness of your peaceful intentions with us. You have given to us that we might hear your message of peace and redemption for all communities, countries and creation and live in the realization of that. Jared lived to share this in practical, loving ways, much more often through action and service than words and speech, with all of your children and creation. The matter he was created from was borrowed from this magnificent creation of yours, and we commend his remains back to it, as we commend his soul and the redemption worthy parts of his story to you. You have saved all knowledge and memories of all of our existence, and now He exists as a part of that remembered and redeemed history. Care for us, faithful Friend of all that is, as we mourn our loss. Help us to look forward to see that great gain as our past and present is invited into the future by your loving call, today, tomorrow and for all time. Help us to continue on and faithfully live out the part of Your story that we find ourselves in. Amen.


Stace' said...

Great Eulogy.

I found myself Mmmming aloud many times.

Shan said...

Ah, the last two paragraphs are great.

That's wonderful Jared - thank you.

R said...

Sorry your 26th year has been so hard on you. A friend once told me that my 27th year would be so wonderful it would kick butt, and you know what? It was true. I hope the same for you...

Gwen said...

Lovely. Thanks.

uberstrickenfrau said...

I would hope all these words would be true of all our lives.

Jenny said...

That was great!(came here via Shan)

Anne said...

Quite touching.

Brett Gorley said...

Dude, both my 26th and 27th years sucked. So did my 28th year. Don't mean to get you down, that's just my hard luck story. You have a lot more going for you than I did.
And, BTW, I'll email you about the beer.