I’ve heard thoughtful people talk about how they don’t want to be summarized until they’re dead. That their last book is not what they want to be known for. I can relate to that. I’m still growing. I still feel misunderstood. I still haven’t created all that it’s in me to create. I’m not ready to be done.
One of my best friends, George Dunn, lived a full life that ended with the decline of his health. He was a great man, who I will be excited to see when I also cross over. He never complained about his circumstances, he was always concerned with others and or what G-d was doing. He was a really unique man and it was a unique relationship the L-rd had given us. I will forever cherish it.
For his service, I shared a few words that came to me during the little hours one morning. Here they are…
Although George had plenty of profound things to say. He embodied the Kingdom in ways that confirmed what my heart already knew. Honestly, he did that in ways no one else had that I have met. And it has forever marked me and as a result and released me to do the same for others.
I’d like to share a few of those ways.
The Kingdom is familial… and George was my father
He didn’t assess my religious giftedness and treat me accordingly; He simply loved me. Deeply. For no good reason. For years, regardless of any reciprocation.
Which is exactly like my Father who art in Heaven.
The churches and the religion they display, and we sometimes experience, are not synonymous with the Kingdom of God. That can sound a little heretical, I have to admit. But the truth that lies in that concept has set me free in ways I simply can not explain. It’s allowed me to remain fervent in my passion for Jesus and His church regardless of how well the local church performs. The fact of the matter is that the church was always in need of a savior and she will always be in need of a savior, at least on this side of heaven. And I am chief among those who are flawed and displaying the Kingdom imperfectly.
Family, relationships, and authenticity trump religious posturing. And actually for the people of God religious pride and pompous flies in the face of Jesus and His ways.
Georgie was human in ways that made people uncomfortable. He disarmed you. As I have grown to know is a character trait like Jesus.
George had experienced that even though our righteous acts are like filthy rags, Jesus loved us and died for us. His eyes would well up with tears and he would sing hymns about his Jesus. He knew that we could never earn, fully understand, or fully explain God’s love. He knew that the Kingdom was not for sale and those who tried were not offering what He had experienced.
Georgie was not unique. He was a prototype of what God would want all of us to experience. Not by our effort or giftedness. But by our surrender to God’s great love. George knew God’s love and displayed it perfectly. It’s a sloppy love. One that makes you uncomfortable. One that doesn’t make sense. One that is not without blemishes. But its Holiness overshadows our sinfulness and failures. It’s just that great. Because our God is just that great.