It was one week ago today that I saw Scott. He was happy as can be while him and his wife were serving at Vacation Bible School. His hands were full of little tiny hands. I made a comment to him about how many little hands he was holding. He smiled at me and said he was having so much fun.
Today, exactly one week later, I attended his funeral. I got the disturbing call on Saturday afternoon that he had passed away that morning from a heart attack. I was dumbfounded, I had just saw him. Spent the entire week with a good portion of his family at church, loved on his grandchildren the same day I spoke to him. Gosh, it couldn't be the same Scott, but it was. My heart grieved for his wife, for his six daughters, their husbands, and all of their children. I was hurting, I couldn't even begin to imagine what the family was feeling. I got to the church 30 minutes before the service started, people had already started arriving. I shuttered as I walked passed the hearse that was parked in front. As I made my way into the worship center, I began to see his daughters...all six of them, the grandchildren, all 14 of them, the husbands all six of them as well. Gosh, I really began to put it together how well I knew this family. I knew Scott and his wife from just working at the church and being around Children's Ministry, but I knew five of his six daughters. I have taken care of his grandchildren many times in various parts of Children's Ministry, I've watched them grow.
Our worship center was packed, more than half of the seats taken by people who had somehow been touched by this man. Every weekend, we have a time of greeting in the service. We go around and say hello to everyone. Today, at Scott's funeral, we did that. The officiating pastor had us go and say hello to everyone and tell the person we meet how we knew Scott. It may sound strange, but it was so refreshing. I met a man who barely knew Scott. His son had Scott as his VBS teacher. He had somehow heard that he had passed away and wanted to pay his respects. VBS was just last week, he never met Scott before. But Scott made such an impact on his son in five short days, they came today to the funeral. Because that is how amazing Scott Kemp was. In that short amount of time, he touched a life.
I was amazed how well the family looked, how beautiful they all were. There were some tears today, but mostly smiles. Especially on his wife's face, yes she is devastated, as well as the rest of her family, but you see...they were smiling because Scott is with Jesus now. Two of his grandsons came up and spoke. Gosh, they are so young, yet so mature today on stage as they talked about how amazing he was as a grandfather. As we sang a few songs, the family raised their hands in worship to this God we serve in honor of the man who loved Christ with everything he had. Oh man, he loved the Lord. Every time I saw him, his face just glowed from the love of God. Our pastor went into detail about how he left a legacy, his fingerprints are all over our church, literally. If you have been around Central for any amount of time, you know these people, or you know his children. How his family, the amazing people they are, are continuing his legacy. Our pastor also talked about how much Scott honestly prayed for people to come to know Jesus. I cried as the pastor invited people to come down and accept Christ. I had never been to a funeral where they had an invitation, but how fitting was it to do it then. It was beautiful. No one came down, but something in my heart said there were people in the worship center that didn't know Christ that he had been praying for. I pray that his death, the beautiful service opened some doors for them.
His prescence at church will be greatly missed and felt especially when I see his beautiful grandchildren.
In the bulletin handed out for his service...this part stuck out to me because it's so true:
"The character, integrity, and honor he displayed in his life were only overshadowed by his tremendous faith in Christ. He truly lived his faith and is without a doubt experiencing the rewards of a well lived Christian life."
How blessed I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to.