I can’t possibly, in these few minutes, sum up the life of my wonderful brother. I could tell you about his quirks, like how when he was young he was so clumsy Dad said he could fall off the floor. Or about his fascination with poking campfires with a stick, and then proceeding to wave the glowing branch inches from everyone’s eyes. But those are mere glimpses. The things that made him special were quickly apparent to those who met him. In college, my wife Kaeli directed a play. She’d known Kris only a short time, but she asked him to play a specific part because, as she put it, he had a caring, comforting, sweet, innocent, and pure nature, a perfect fit for the character. Kris reluctantly accepted the part, and of course performed it marvelously.
My sister and I would like to share with you just a few characteristics of his that stand out to us: his endurance, his joy, and his faith.
Kris was steadfast. From working 2 long hot Arkansas summers outdoors, to sawing logs by hand, in his apartment, in the midst of his illness, to make a special gift for Lauryn. He had grit.
Kris’s whole life, especially these last couple years, was characterized by Endurance. He never backed down. When work was a hard, he conquered. When even walking became challenging, he endured. When his body failed him, his spirit remained strong and allowed him to smile. He sang “Joy to the World” with us minutes before he started his heavenward journey. I can’t remember a single instance of him griping; that was not his nature. His strength of spirit was almost superhuman. In fact, I’m sure it was. And it will inspire me from this day forward.
To share what about Kris made that endurance possible, I’d like to tag in my sister, Catherine.
Kris was such a good kid, he didn’t play “house.” He played “church. We had friends over, we’d make a fort out of our bunk beds, and Kris and I would pick songs, do “communion,” and have a short sermon there in the fort with our friends. The seeds of Faith were planted early.
A.W. Tozer wrote: “What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.”
What Kris thought about God is that he is the father who created you, loves you, and wants to give you eternal life; that was the most important thing about him and it affected everything else he thought or did, from how he loved his family, to how graciously he treated the nurses in the hospital.
You see, he had Confidence in his salvation
Not because he was good; he knew he couldn’t earn a ticket to heaven. He knew WHERE he was heading because he knew to WHOM he was heading.
Jesus said that he is the resurrection and the life. Kris didn’t just believe that, or hope that, he knew that. That was his bastion against despair.
You all know Kris was a deep thinker, a problem solver. If he had thought any of this stuff: Jesus, the resurrection, was not reasonable, he would have rejected it. But Kristofor’s faith wasn’t blind; it was reasoned out and reasonable. And for the rest of my life it will continue to encourage and strengthen me.
When the doctor said his time was limited to weeks, Kris said, “It doesn’t matter. 100 years from now we’ll all be in heaven.” The thing is, he wants each and every one of you here to be where he is right now.
==> If you’re not sure you’re going to be there, then please, Kristofor asks you, do whatever you have to do to be sure. Work it out, find the road, because Kris wants to see you again.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
We love you all, we’re so grateful for you, Kris was so grateful for you. Remember the Endurance… the Joy…, and the confident Faith that Kris was such an example of, and let it change you.
[Finally,] May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.