Monday, May 20, 2013

Ken Halstead- my bikie friend

I will leave it up to Heather to tell you why she married a bikie!
But we can see from the pictures on our sheets today
that he was something of a catch
there is no doubt that Heather was too!
When I came to this parish ...17 years ago
I was glad to be met by a Churchwarden
who was excited that I was an ethnic Cumbrian
as he was!
Ken was born 40 miles from where I was born
and knew the town I grew up in.
To us, the Lake District, was not a tourist destination
it was where we lived.
We both went to one of the fine Cumbrian County Grammar Schools
Ken to Carlisle
and me to Whitehaven.
We rejoiced in this shared life.
[I would speak Cumbrian to you now
but you are too ignorant to understand its beauty
and the only other person here who understands
is in the coffin
Like all Cumbrians
we know we are right!]

What we also rejoiced in was our shared life as members of this parish.
He was, by and large, respectful
but also opinionated and sometimes wrong!
(Despite the fact that Cumbrians are always right...
Father knows best!)
He didn't always get it.
And often he just went on and on!

He said to me once after one of these talks
at a funeral about a fellow parishioner
"I wonder what you will say about me?"

I don't think he was worried
But the thought often stayed with me.
And he had noted enough to observe that I tried to say
what was important about this person's life.
This is really what a funeral might be about
We try to say what electrified them about life.

He had a terrifying sense of duty was often couched in the language...You should do this and you should do that
He wasn't always right.
Though I would venture to say
He understood the basic guts of what it meant to be a Christian man.
That above all you have to love each other,
that loving each other means you have to know how to forgive and accept.
That some times those who love you will hurt you
and you will hurt the ones you love.

I want to say this, particularly to his lovely and fine wife Heather,
to all you his children
and particularly to you his grandchildren
...and all those who have been dragged in to that circle
He loved you, was proud of you, thought the best of you
and hoped for the very best outcomes .

You have not disappointed him
(though sometimes he may have wanted to 'advise' you otherwise).
Can you forgive him for sometimes being cranky, difficult, and obstinate?

He loved...or wanted to Jesus loved
without condition
with an open heart.

He was not without fault
but he was a man of love.

And we, his friends should know that his Christian conviction
wanted that for you and me too.

Thanks be to God for this man.
Ken Halstead, our husband, our father, our grandfather and friend.

1 comment:

John Littleton said...

Well said Stephen, and very moving. Thank you, John Littleton.