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Tragedy Strikes a Friend
TRAGEDY STRIKES A FRIEND
One night as I was working night security at a apartment home complex a fellow named Chris came up to me to give me some bad new. A friend of ours, Kyle Harris had died. Later we found out that he had taken his own life; suicide.
Kyle was really a nice guy. He would speak to me up at work. I knew him as “MaMa Dog’s” daddy. I most often saw Kyle when he was walking his beloved dog,
This really knocked me back. Kyle was such a nice guy. He seemed so happy. He had a beautiful girlfriend Heather, a beautiful apartment, and a pickup truck with a dirt bike in the back, and he had “MaMa Dog.” What a perfect life (so it seemed). What more could anyone ask for. I don’t like to use the word “envy” but I thought Kyle was a perfectly good example of a happy successful person.
I CONTINUE TO DWELL AND THINK ABOUT KYLE.
I think about his tragic death. I was not close to Kyle (as others were) but it still deeply bothers me. Maybe it is the injustice of his suicide that bothers me (us) so very much. I started writing immediately after Chris told me of Kyle’s death.
I started writing; it’s what I do.
I guess somehow you know that if it is written that you know it needs to be read. I really did not want to volunteer or step up to the plate but I did not want to turn away from what needed to be done. And at the same time I did not know what needed to be done.
I feel that if I had not come forward it would have been like burying my “talent” in the ground.
I believe that God wanted me to get out of my “boat” of security. This crowd was not my comfort zone of Church, Sunday school, Bible Basics, etc. This was a diverse crowd of Christians from many different denominations, the Jewish faith (Kyle was Jewish), unbelievers, and even possibly Muslim. (We are a very diverse crowd here.)
How are you respectful to such a large group? I found that if I edited everything out about Jesus Christ my message would be empty, hollow, pointless, and meaningless.
Christ wanted me to step out of my “boat” of a “comfort zone” and come out to Him in the storm - on the waves! The “storm” was the suicide death of Kyle; the “waves” were the diverse crowd and my fears.
But Jesus was not in the boat.
Jesus was out on the water.
So I prayed to God, “If it is your will, command me to come out to you on the water.”
I don’t like clichés but
If God brings you to it;
God will bring you through it.
I think of the Prayer of St. Francis, “Let me be an instrument of thy peace.” I thank you God for using me as Your instrument.
And truly as the prayer says, let me console other more than myself being consoled.
And truly it is in the giving that we receive.
Kyle and Heather Remembrance
KYLE AND HEATHER REMEMBRANCE
INTRO: My name is Osten Aune; most of you know me as Security here at night. I am also a Lay speaker of the UMC.
But more importantly I am here because Kyle was my friend and my words come from the bottom of my heart.
*Kyle is Jewish – I am Christian. For me this is no problem.
Obviously God can bring us All Together.
I have a deep solemn respect for the Jewish Faith.
But I am a Christian.
I can only do what I know how to do!
When I speak of Jesus Christ,
I mean No disrespect to the Jewish Faith and I pray not to offend anyone!
It does not matter what name you call on God:
God IS God!
We are a very diverse crowd here tonight.
I look at what we have in common; Not our differences.
But from where I stand tonight,
Jewish tears and Christian tears look all the same to me.
We are all here for one reason: Our Love & Compassion for Kyle, Heather, and Family.
I met Kyle like many of you – Kyle walking MaMa Dog or
Kyle and Heather at some event in the clubhouse.
Kyle was a good, loving, kind, and caring person.
The world was a better place with Kyle in the world.
His presence will always be missed.
Bad Things Happen to Good People
Bad Things Happen to Good People is a very good book written by a Jewish Rabbi. Harold Kushner.
Many of my thoughts tonight come from this book.
Sometimes we are well meaning,
we try to say and do the right things, we try to comfort,
but unfortunately sometimes we try to candy-coat it!
We say that what is Tragic is good.
We say that what is Bad is really not that bad.
We say things like:
– Kyle is no longer hurting.
– Kyle is in a better place.
– It’s God’s Plan
I am Not here to defend God!
God can well take care of Himself.
But this is Not God’s plan!
THIS IS TRAGIC!!! And there is more than one victim here!
Kyle – Heather – Parents – Momma Dog – Room full of victims.
– True – Kyle is no longer hurting!
– True – Kyle is in heaven!
– But this is still a tragedy And God is Weeping Too!
– God is weeping with each and every one of you!
Sometimes we have problems…
Sometimes we have Burdens, which are too heavy for us to carry.
We here it said, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”
Well, Sometimes It Kills Us!
– We are all human.
– We are all imperfect.
– We are all Sinners!
The New Testament says that if you break one of the
Ten Commandments you are guilty of breaking them all!
So we are All on an even playing field!
None of us earn our salvation.
Heaven is a Gift from God, which we did nothing to deserve, earn, or merit. Heaven/Salvation is a Gift from God.
To be sure, God does not condone our sins,
But through God’s Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, and Grace –
We are Forgiven!
From The New Testament from the Gospel of John 3:16-17
16 "For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world
to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
Again there is no condemnation in Christ.
Jesus/God came into the world to SAVE us; not to condemn us!
One thing I want to address is GUILT!
We all may feel some guilt. We ask ourselves:
– “What could I have done?
– Why couldn’t I see this coming?
– Why didn’t I do something?”
I want to stress: Depression is a Disease!
Just like Cancer it takes lives!
We can see the symptoms of cancer.
But with people who suffer with Depression,
they do their best to hide their symptoms of pain from us.
Remember, God is NOT a god of Guilt and Shame.
God is a God of Love, Forgiveness, and Grace.
God is a god who will remember your sins no more.
Be kind to yourselves... You have No Guilt to bear!
This Tragedy is incomprehensible! We cannot understand!
This tragedy does Not make sense! It doesn’t have to make sense!
We will Never have all of our questions answered. Never.
And this is partly what makes it so difficult and tragic.
So hard to find closure.
It is such a waste and it makes no sense!
And it breaks our hearts.
Now - If you are Angry and Mad at God. Tell Him!
Tell God exactly how you feel.
God is big enough to take it! But don’t Stop Talking to God.
It may be impossible to believe it now…
but Things will get Better!
Keep talking to God. God the Holy Spirit is your
– your Advocate – your Councilor – your Guide
– your Comforter – and your Friend.
What brings all of us here tonight?
Love and Compassion for Heather, for Kyle, and for family.
– Love endures all things.
– Love Believes in all things.
– Love Hopes in all things.
– Love Bears all things.
– LOVE NEVER FAILS!
And God IS LOVE!
We burn - we light these candles – they are a symbol of our burning love for Kyle and for Heather, and for family.
These candles will eventually burn out.
But the Candles of Love in our Hearts will Never Burn Out!
These Candles of Love in our Hearts shall burn Forever!
We here are an apartment community.
We may not have known it before,
but we are also a Faith Community!
We often come together in friendship, fellowship, for pizza, beer, and movies.
We party together. We play together. We exercise together.
We walk our dogs together! We Rejoice together.
Soon we will rejoice in the new birth of a baby due at the end of this month!
But most importantly we come together NOW!
Not just for the good times but also for the Bad Times; Tragic Times.
– We come together to help one another.
– We come together to support one another.
– And we come together to Grieve.
– We come together out of Love.
– Love for Kyle.
– Love for Heather.
– Love for Family.
And now we begin the Long, Painful Process of grieving, mourning, and yes, healing.
Heather/Family, God is always with you.
Call on Him.
Heather/Family, We share in your grieving. We share in your pain.
We share in your suffering.
Yet we do not come close to knowing your pain.
We Pray to share in your comforting and share in your healing!
Please Heather - Family, We are here for you! Call on Us!
Let’s give Heather and Family a big Amen.
Please join and bow your head in prayer:
Come Dear Lord, Kindle in us the Fire of Your Love.
Help us O’ Lord.
Help us to mend our broken hearts.
Be with us Lord.
Be especially with Heather and Kyle’s Family, Lord.
Dear Lord, Hold Them tightly in Your loving arms.
– Give Them Comfort.
– Give Them Peace.
– Give Them Strength.
– Give Them Hope.
– Give Them Faith.
– Give Them LOVE.
Help us Lord to see the Light!
Help us Lord to see the Light of Day.
The Light of Hope.
The Shining – Everlasting Light of Love.
If you need help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
MELT BACK INTO THE BACKGROUND
Part of my Kyle Experience has been bittersweet; fulfilling and uplifting and yet there is little satisfaction or closure to a tragedy, a suicide that did not have to happen.
This has been a draining physically and mentally. It seems that I can do much to help others but I can’t help myself!
Part of me want to go back to being invisible, melt back into the background just doing my night security; walking around at night and sitting in a parking garage.
I do NOT want to be a celebrity over this (people are coming up to talk to me about Kyle). BUT at the same time – This is not out of our systems. We still need to talk about it to get it out of our systems; so we can heal. This must be a part of the healing and closure that we are all looking for.
Most of the time we fail to see and recognize God working in our lives.
Sometimes when God is working in our lives we don’t believe it, we deny it; it just couldn’t be!
At this moment I have assurance of god working in my life:
· I see it: I recognize it
· I believe it; I don’t deny it.
But I am confoundedly confused on what to do! God IS working in my life! Now what? Now what do I do?
I wish (pray) that I could clearly discern the answers and directions of where God is leading me!
I NEED TO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT MY LIFE…
And feeling sorry for myself! After I have my “pity party” and throw my “temper tantrum” I feel so guilty of acting like such an ass every time soon after God answers my prayers!
WHY DIDN’T I JUST HAVE TRUST AND FAITH IN GOD TO BEGIN WITH?
I could have spared myself so much pain and anxiety suffered for nothing!
Turn all your troubles over to him,
because he cares for you and is watching over you.
1 Peter 5:7 Worldwide English
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill, and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to morn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to give away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time of war and a time for peace.
There are not many things that are really under our control.
We control – we decide whether we will:
Love; or hate
Forgive; or revenge
Help; or hurt
Be honest; or dishonest
Tell the truth; or lie
Build up; or tear down
Try; or give up
Encourage; or discourage
We cannot control whether we fail or succeed, win or loose.
What you can’t control…
Don’t worry about.
What you can control...
GOD IS MY ONLY REFUGE
I am not an exceptionally good person. (If you really knew me; you wouldn’t like me. - depression) My gifts and talents are not as great as others – (that’s why we shouldn’t compare) if we feel our gifts are better we become arrogant; if we feel our gifts are less we are discouraged and ashamed.
I can honestly say that I am a “good person” that tries hard; and yet often fails.
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered.
"No one is good—except God alone.
Forgive me God for doing the evil
I do not want to do
and forgive me for not doing
the good I want to do.
I try to keep anger locked up under control but sometimes it escapes and I say hurtful words, which I cannot take back. I don’t want to mislead people… I’m not that good of a person; I’m simply a prolific writer.
My life is an open book – Literally!
Don’t be fooled or misled –
I write down the good,
I write down the bad.
I am simply a work in progress... God is still molding me.
God is the potter; I am the clay.
I was never very close to Kyle when Kyle was alive. But what is weird and may not make sense but now that Kyle has died we have become close friends; dear friends.
Tracy Kyle Harris Web Site
www.tracykyleharris.com is a website dedicated to the memory of Tracy Kyle Harris created by Kyle’s sister Rhonda Norman.
You MUST be 21 to enter this website!
This is a disturbing website containing the journals of Kyle Harris.
Kyle’s journals are a glimpse into the darkest corners of a person’s mind, which is influenced by a devastating disease called, "Depression!”
“Depression” is a DISEASE!
“Depression” has a mortality rate!
“Suicide” has a stigma associated with it. At one time “Cancer” was a stigmatized word. Later “AID’s” became a stigmatized word. People who suffer from “Depression” they are today’s modern day lepers.
We should not add “stigma” to some of the most hurting, most vulnerable people suffering on this earth!
Kyle called himself, “Unchurched and Irreverent. Kyle may not have believed in God the same way you believe in God. But have no doubt, God always believed in Kyle. God has always loved Kyle. And just because Kyle has died, taken his own life, killed by a disease called Depression, God’s love remains unconditional, everlasting, and steadfast. Just because Kyle is dead, this does not stop God from loving Kyle!
By the way: in many ways Kyle (who was Jewish) was very much so “Christ-like.” He was always looking out to help others. Kyle may not have “talked the talk” but he sure did “walk the walk.”
Somehow reading Kyle’s journals is much like being with Christ through the Stations of the Cross; it is a painful journey.
When you view the Tracy Kyle Harris website this is NOT a time to be throwing the first stone. This is NOT the time to look for a speck of dust in someone else’s eye when there is a plank in your own eye! This is NOT a time to say, “'God, I thank you that I am not like other men (like Kyle) Luke 18:9-14
This is a time to look into the darkest reaches of a person suffering from the disease of Depression.
Kyle’s journals are brutally honest and they are painful to read.
So why should we go through the trouble and pain? Why? Because we are called not to be judgmental – we are called to reach out and to help others, especially those who are hurting and suffering the most – even to the point of death!
“Strange Songs... Sad Songs...” though it deals honestly with
it is not as “dark” as Kyle’s journals; but a comparison of the two journals is a different perspective of the many facets of Depression.