Sunday, July 10, 2011
My Friend Christian Stilwell
I am pushing to get some final packing done tonight before the moving truck comes and I ran across some papers. They are the notes that I took at my dear, sweet, 17 year old friend, Christian Stilwell's funeral. That's right he was only 17 years old, but had so much more impact on others than I could ever hope to have. I wanted to take a minute to get these notes on my blog for all to read, but more importantly for me to have to look back on and remember what a great kid Christian was and to read to remember what kind of person I should be.
Christian Died April 15, 2011. Between his visitation and funeral over 2500 people were in attendance. That in and of itself should be testimony to you about how many people this young man touched.
Several people spoke at his funeral. One person spoke that knew him from school, church, and CYT his theater group. I just took notes the whole time, not sure who said what, but like I said it should give you a glimpse into the kind of life Christian lived.
Christian lived his life according to Psalm 100:2-Serve the Lord with gladness, with singing.
Christian was always serving and always singing.
Legacy of a servant- He was always asking someone, "What can I do to help?"
Christian was into theater, but to him there was more to theater than the spotlight. He lived by the saying, "Its better to give than to receive."
Matthew 5:14-16 says let my light shine. That is exactly what Christian did. His light was always shining.
Christian was into theater and planning events. When he was a little boy someone asked a group of little boys what they wanted to be when they grew up. There were the typical reponses of police man, firefighter, etc. It was Christian's turn and he said, "I'm going to be an event planner." In his room there was a printer, office supplies, lanyards, binders, playbills.
When visiting a college recently they started telling him all about their sports program. Christian replied, "I have yet to figure out why anyone gets excited about a ball."
The reason that Christian planned and did events was because he knew that someone's ife could be impacted by that event.
He was a Joy filled kid. He was not filled with joy for himself, but for others.
He could not NOT serve.
He showed love by touch by giving hugs. At this point in the funeral service the speaker asked, "How many of you ever received a hug from Christian?" In an instant every hand went up. It was amazing to see how one young man could touch that many people's lives.
He was an encourager. He walked up to anyone and everyone and would encourage them. He knew when people needed to be encouraged.
He was a Dreamer. He imagined and dreamed.
He didn't stop at the dream, he acted upon his dreams.
One thing that stood out to me that I learned about Christian is that on his clipboard that he always carried he had written down his initiatives to change the world and he was creating a plan to reach those initiatives. He dreamed big and knew that his dreams would come true.
Live a life integrating these traits.
Do not neglect expressing more love to others.
Why Did Christian Live?
He truly lived, not just existed.
He lived life to the fullest.
Christian had faith in the Lord.
1 Thess. 1:3- Love the Lord, had hope.
Faith is more than belief, it is trusting in Him.
He had true faith because he lived faithfully.
He loved God and people well.
He expressed love Lavishly.
He did them as acts of Faith.
Love compelled him. It was a love from within.
When things were hard on Christian he still had a positive attitude. Recently he had gotten news that he didn't get into a program he wanted. He was disappointed, but then said, "Smile and move on."
He was compelled by his love and his love of God.
Christian had hope. He believed God was going to fix all that was broken.
He had hope that all he was doing was not in vain.
Why did Christian Die? What is the reason.
God sometimes chooses not to intervene.
This does not prove that God doesn't care just that the world is in a bad way.
God intends to use this circumstance for good!!
Romans 8:28-In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.
Sorrow = hope, love, new life.
How do I go on?
Sadness is appropriate, tears are ok.
Laughing and sharing memories will help.
Sadness without hope turns into depression.
We have hope!!
We will grieve, but not a hopeless grief.
Posted by Melissa