Posted by: Ed | January 30, 2009

A HOUSE OF MOURNING – Cody’s service

Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because 1that is the end of every man,
And the living takes it to heart.

I want to Cody Sevier’s memorial service yesterday (Wednesday, January 28). Cody was 24, attended Journey for the last few years. His parents are Journey peeps, Roger & Catherine. I was asked to open the service & pray which I was honored to do. Then I just enjoyed the service. Strange word,  but in an odd sense “enjoyment” is apropos.
* There was a very long wonderful worship set with an amazing band of Cody’s friends. Cody loved music. He was a drummer & his drum kit sat on the stage while his friends led us in worship.
* Lots of friends, family & family friends shared tribute & memories. Each one was poignant & inspirational.
* Then his old youth pastor Charlie Alcock shared a great message from passages in Cody’s bible that he had underlined & wrote comments in. Cody struggled more than most of us. He had to fight serious set backs & borderline personality disorder.

There are certain strange things about being a pastor. One of them is that you are at more funerals & memorial services than the average person. It’s harder to pretend that death will never come or that nothing bad ever happens if you just live according to some divine formula. It’s harder to look at a crowd and not see lots of hurt. This is one of the main differences of being at this a while. When I was in my 20s I didn’t get this, I mean really get it.

Ecclesiastes 7:4 The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.

I heard from a couple of people last Wednesday about Cody, about Roger & Catherine’s loss. I was at their house  that afternoon. I haven’t gone very long without thinking of them & praying for them this last week. Would you pray for them too? They are feeling loved, wonderfully supported by the body of Jesus. The “weep with those who weep” scripture is very real.

cody-photo

They wrote this marvelous God-glorifying note on the program for the service:
We want to give thanks to all the wonderful friends & family, near & far, who supported us with their prayer & love. Than you also to Journey Community Church. Above all, we thank the Father who holds our precious son in His loving arms & who carried us through these difficult days.

But I know there is a place in their soul that only God can go and I pray that He goes there.

One more note: This was on the back of the program for the service…
“Cody highlighted, underlined & drew 20 stars around this verse in his Bible –
“If we live, we live to the Lord; & if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” Romans 14:8 NIV

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Responses

  1. I want to respond to something particular in your post but I pause for a minute because this post is really about Cody and his family – individuals I didn’t know – and don’t want to disrespect their experience with a stranger’s words when silence and heart is most appropriate. So I take a moment of prayer for them before I comment back to you, Ed.

    Ed, thank you for bringing up the topic of grief and the paradoxical spirituality and connection that can blossom in the heart of chaos and gut wrenching pain. Some of my most profound life experiences have been at memorial services and in therapy sessions when my heart has been bleeding all over the place. Yet in those moments, when feeling utterly shattered, God’s Grace can miraculously infuse one with a LOVE beyond what was previously imagined. This does not negate pain or make suffering easy – but it does transform and irrevocably change how one perceives the world/life/oneself/God. One of my favorite quotes is from Camus, as it relates: “In the heart of winter, I found an invincible summer.”

    Your openness to address your personal process with these issues models and gives us permission to do so with our own through talking, praying and writing in a spiritual context. Thank you. You and Cody’s family/friends have been holding much; may all of you go gentle when exhaustion waves.

  2. Re: the memorial service: A powerful and life-altering experience! For a brief moment we got to get past the illusion that we are in charge. (And thankfully He is!) So cool to see Rodger, Catherine and Dylan greeting and embracing their friends and exposing themselves to community. Awesome!

  3. I was saddened to read about the death of Cod’s death. I know God called him to His presence. I grieve with the family members. But God is sovereign, nobody could question Him.

  4. I went to high school with Cody. Too young, too soon.

  5. Hey cody, I was just thinking about you its 630 am dec 30th 2011, and you are on my
    mind. I wish you were here to celebrate your 10yr high school reunion with all of us. But you know what cody,you will be. You will be dancing and mingling with us the whole night.i know a lot of angels including yourself that like to come to parties, so I know you will be there alongside elisa osuna enjoying your high school 10 year reunion as beautiful floating white angels. We all love and miss you cody, love the whole monte vista 2002 alumni.


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