My words for Clint’s funeral
I stand before you today, because my friend, colleague, & brother, Clint showed me the love of Jesus over and over again. I have a few brief stories to share with you all today, which is a tough gig for pastors, but I’ll do my best.
I remember when we got stuck in Charlotte, NC, coming back from an intensive, and Clint showed me Jesus by letting me stay in the room he booked for himself, even after I tried to run halfway across the Charlotte airport as fast as I could to make the connecting flight home.
He showed me Jesus when he tricked me into having lunch with Mark Miller, who was visiting Asbury with his own son, looking at seminaries. I didn’t know it at the time, but Clint was trying to get me an appointment, & into the conference I now call home. I went, and Mark Miller connected me with Fred, and the rest, they say, his history.
Clint showed me Jesus by always seeing the best in me. Not just sometimes, but all the time, especially when I didn’t see it in myself.
This past January, he was one of the spiritual directors on my Walk to Emmaus. He showed me Jesus by asking me tough, but important questions about myself, and my relationship with God. He told me he believed in me, and he would constantly be telling me “you’re being too hard on yourself.”
Now, today, I’m not sure what to do. I know he’s not in pain, or suffering anymore, and that the past few years, since he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer has been a gift. I knew this day would come.
But grief doesn’t care about fair. You see, he believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He walked w/ me through many dark seasons, & loved me like a brother.
I have become a part of a family here in MN because Clint opened the door for me, and walked me through it, at times kicking and screaming, in the midst of a season when I didn’t know what my future held.
It’s difficult for me to think of serving w/out him, not hearing his words of encouragement & support in the future, not being able to text him with church-related questions, or hear his dad jokes.
But if he can believe in me, maybe God believes in me, too. Maybe I really am God’s beloved. If Clint was a Prodigal Son, then I definitely am, as well. And I know from that story, & Henri Nouwen’s work that God is always standing there, w/ arms wide open, ready to welcome me home again.
My friend was Jesus to me, during so many moments when I needed him to be, and my call is to do the same for others.
So thank you, my friend. May you rest in peace, & rise in glory. You showed me Jesus. My only prayer for my own time in ministry, is to do more of the same.