Friday, May 01, 2009

Life Lessons from Kit

I watched Kit's memorial service here at 2am on the East Coast via the Hope Chapel Maui live telecast. Despite the time difference, it was hope-filled and inspiring. Pastor Craig mentioned that the house was full and there was an overflow crowd in the courtyard outside. Kit touched so many, and I imagine people from all over the country were watching that telecast like I was last night. You couldn't help but grasp that Kit's influence was wide and deep, that he loved many and that he finished his life strong in faith and full of hope.

I'm feeling compelled this morning to summarize some of the lessons we can glean from such a life. He was a success based on a simple head count of the people who loved him, and yet, he just continued to get better and better, even as his cancer progressed. These lessons from Kit's life are the ones that come immediately to mind...feel free to add to my list.

1.Share the Love Boldly--Kit cared about what mattered to others and every person was a potential friend no matter where they were at in life, he could always find a connecting point; even while he was getting chemo he was making friends.

2. Weep with the Weeping--Kit had an innate empathy that few men have, and he could communicate that compassion through a hug, a word of insight or encouragement...and he would follow-up later to see how you were doing with that. He was able to go to the depths with people, and give them hope in the valley of shadows.

3. Go, Go, Go for the Gusto--whether it was running, biking, singing, preaching, or teaching apologetics, Kit did it with passion and dedication. He was a man of live action. He had many interests and careers. He reinvented himself over and over again. There were few wasted moments in his exuberant life.

4. Fail Out Loud--Kit would openly share with us his failures, missteps and foolish choices. He could laugh at himself, and also model how to back up and change the course of your life when you've taken a wrong turn.

5. Kiss Your Wife and Kids--I always loved hearing him talk about his kids, or should I say "rave" about his kids. He adored them without reservation or shyness, and the feeling is mutual. No adolescent anger here, these kids were well-loved and loved their dad right back. His loyalty and appreciation for Shelly was also inspiring. You never doubted Kit's love or faithfulness to her.

6. Be God's Best PR Person--I never met anyone who was so bold at communicating the Heavenly Father's deep and unconditional love for his children. Not a hell-fire or judgement-preaching pastor, Kit opened the book of love for us. Kit's message, repeated over and over again, was this: "Your Heavenly Father loves you so much, He accepts you, He yearns for you, His arms are open wide to you, open yours to Him."

7. Tie Yourself to the Mast and Ride the Storm--Kit was able to weather the storm of cancer, never wavering in his confidence in God's goodness, because he had spent so much time in the Word. His testimony was even more powerful because, as he lay weak and in pain, he would confidently assert that God loved him, that Heaven was held for him, and that whatever God wanted was good enough for him.

Thank you, Kit, for being such a shining example of an overcoming faith and a successful life. You leave a legacy by the way you lived and I am going to try to follow in your footsteps. We love you and miss you.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)


Jeri said...

Thanks Karen, you summed it up so well. An amazing man of faith, love, hope, courage, strength....the list goes on. He's such a wonderful example for us all.

Wish you could have been here in person. So great to see Joe and happy he was able to participate.

Love & miss you,

Anonymous said...

It was truly awesome to see Joe playing with Buddy and the selected worship team!You are so amazing with words and expressed beautifully what we all learned and gleaned from Kit!! Thank you Karen! Joyce Spencer

Bill and Lu Keplker said...

We sang it again--"You give and take away. . ." Fitting that Joe led that one. He is so talented up there. Surely the best leader ever. There were 5 big-screen TV's in the court yard, along with about 350 people. I had to carry Keahi out there while Kelly danced. Wish you could have been there.

Maisha said...

Karen, Joe read your letter today before we went out on the canoes. It was so mom cried and we were all very touched.
My dad and Joey's temporal, earthly bodies are now part of the islands that they loved so much. But the real Kit Lauer and Joey Johnson are in such a better, better place with our heavenly father...and as little Mikaela Woodward said they are "in a Bible study with Jesus" :-)
Love you so much.

Janet said...

Karen, missing you.... thank you for expressing what I felt but could not put into words, in your letter about Kit. Your gift of words and emotions is a gift to us all. Hugs and prayers,
missing you and the family
Love, Janet

Josh Goodman said...

Karen, you truly are a wordsmith. Wished you could have been there this weekend, but it almost felt like you were with Joe being here,constantly sharing your beautiful blogs. Today was a special day. Kit and the Lauer family have been relentlessly honored and loved on. Hope all is well in VA. We love you guys and you are in our prayers. Stay strong in the Lord. He is our refuge and our strength. Love Shua and Trisha

lorensaved77 said...

Your Awesome Karen!
So talented in your writing skills, Beautiful description of the man we adored, Kit Lauer,the man we admired!
Thanks for sharing your Beutiful Heart with such awesome words!
Love you and Miss you,