In Honor of our Friend Steve
As you're likely already aware, Tuesday night while he and his son Lennon were driving between games, Steve Baker was killed in a motor vehicle collision. [Details are here]
There are no words for things like this. It's just awful. It all feels like too much. Steve was the best in humanity, someone who seemed to naturally, effortlessly care for others. He walked gently and kindly and he made a massive difference for people who encountered him. We lost a good man on Tuesday night, and the Baker family is in deep pain.
Tragedies like this force us to stop, to have our lives interrupted, and to grieve. It will feel natural to try and do something to make it better, to find the right words to say, to be strong. But, Steve Baker was worth our tears. We all loved him, so losing him hurts, bad. Jesus knew this. When Jesus' friend Lazerus died, Jesus was able to make it better, Jesus knew what the right words could be, Jesus was strong enough, but instead Jesus stood in front of his friends tomb and wept.
You see, Jesus knew something true about the world, he knew that to love is to suffer. To love someone is to be vulnerable to pain, to be hurt when they are hurt. God so loved the world that he gave his only son to die for us on a cross. God know the pain you are feeling about this loss because Steve's death is making God weep too. The creator of the universe is crying with us.
I will miss Steve Baker and I know you will too. I will miss how he just carried a lightness about him, a peace. I will miss having another grown man in our community who is thrilled to be playful, to cry, to dress up and be goofy, to encourage children. You never wondered whether Steve was happy to see you. He was simply good, the model of Christ-like masculinity. I pray that every man in our community endeavors to be like Steve. His way of being in the world made the people around him healthy and whole.
And as we grieve, I encourage us to be examples to our community about what it looks like to grieve with hope. We are resurrection people. As we said in the Apostle's creed during Kinsley's baptism ceremony last Sunday "We believe in the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting." Steve is in God's care while we wait for the resurrection, but the dead in Christ will be raised first, and I for one am looking forward to seeing Steve Baker's smile as one of the first views of eternity.