Title: You Made A Difference
I'm going to have a harder time getting through this speech than my dad trying to get through an hour of Fox News.
My daughter keeps reminding me that Pop Pop is in a better place. He’s free of pain, but we aren’t. We’re hurting. As much as we long for more time with the man we called a friend, a pastor, pop-pop, dad… husband, he is no longer suffering and he has been welcomed by the Father of all creation. If he could show up right now I guarantee he would say… “Why are you all crying for me? I’m playing cards with Tinnie, Jenni and Helen drinking port wine. We’ve got a Starbucks up here and Trump isn’t president. Don’t cry for me.”
He would also light up to see so many friends and family. On behalf of my mom and sister and our families, we deeply appreciate and love each one of you for joining us today. Some have traveled from far away to be here and we appreciate it. Thank you to the Trinity family for all the love and support through the recent tough months. Your strength and warmth has made this entire process easier and you have been incredible to my mom. We want to thank the Bishop for being here today and celebrating my father’s life and his ministry.
My dad loved doing God’s work… but he liked to do it his own way. His first call was a historic church in Mt. Holly, NC. In his very first service as a senior pastor, something happened. When it came time for the sermon, and everyone had sat down, the congregation quickly realized that there was no pastor. Pastor Cam had vanished. Everyone started looking at each other, then after a few moments you could hear worried voices wondering what is going on. Then after about a minute, my dad came barreling in from the narthex and made his way to the pulpit and starred at a curious and confused crowd. “It’s uncomfortable to wait and not know what is going on… isn’t it? That is what life without a relationship with God feels like. Trust me I know…” The stunned congregation realized at that moment, that their new pastor was something special. He ended the sermon with “What are you waiting for?” and the congregation knew it was time to grow or go. A feeling that many in every one of his congregations felt.
PC just wanted to make a difference… and he sure did. From the houses he helped build with Habitat to homes he helped grow with his marriage counseling and weddings.
From the many baptisms where he would rejoice with the family and congregation, to the funerals where he would bring peace and comfort to so many feeling like we do today.
You can just look around this room to see his impact. From his memorable sermons to his forgettable jokes, Pastor Cam is one man who made a difference.
But there was more to Cam than just being a pastor… For my mom, he is her soul mate. Two people perfectly in love… They’ve been joined at the hip since hippie camping trips back in the day with Susan and Danny. They were so in love that if any of the Disney princesses needed to break a spell, they could call on my parents for a “true love’s kiss”. My parent’s love and commitment to each other is one of the greatest lessons they could ever teach my sister and I… Just a great lesson for all of us, “Love fiercely and stay true to each other. The rest will work itself out.”
For my sister and I, he was dad, and boy was he a good one. He wanted to be a father and put in the work with Ashley and I. Cheerleading, basketball, playing Barbie’s on the floor with Ashley or building a ramp for me to jump my dukes of Hazard car, he was always there while letting us grow on our own.He used to take me to Park Road Park in Charlotte, not the safest park in town, but it had the best basketball games. He’d sit in the car and watch me while he worked on his sermons. He’d let me play for hours, because he knew I loved it. As a father, he was incredibly supportive and even if he didn’t agree or think it was a right decision, he would be there to celebrate if things went right or lift us up if things didn’t work out. He loved us with all his heart and was a better father than I could ever ask for.
To Zealand, Knox, Ava and London, he is Pop-Pop. He was a funny and loving grandfather that would let the kids eat candy in bed and have desert after every meal. Pop-Pop was always present at basketball games, dance and piano recitals, birthday parties and flooded the kids with love every chance he got. The time was not wasted, even though the four grand kids are between 6 and 9 years old, Pop Pop will make a difference in their lives for as long as they live.
To all our pets, he was daddy. If all dogs go to heaven, then my dad is the happiest soul inside the pearly gates. Now I know why heaven is fenced in. All the dogs.
My dad was a lot of things to a lot of people, but the one thing we all have in common is the positive impact and the difference that Cam Keyser made in all our lives. My father’s death is hard… for all of us; but he’s in a better place.
The devil works to remove God from the world… it is our job to share God with the world. My dad shared the light of Christ with countless people over the years. Now that my father is gone, we all have to step up our game a little bit and fill the void. We have to shine a little brighter in his absence. In honor of that moment Pastor Cam made a difference in your life, if he married you, if he prayed with you and held your hand when you needed it the most; go out and do something good in this world in his honor. Be there for somebody who needs it.
Show God’s love by doing a good deed for a stranger. Don’t know what to do? Think of what Pastor Cam would do…Write a note to a friend you have not talked to in a while telling them that they are special.
Put scarfs on the fence of the church in the winter for the needy in the community.
Act like goofy and entertain sick kids at the hospital
Hold a grieving person close and tell them it will be all right.If we all act like Pastor Cam a little bit more, then this world will be a brighter place. This world will be closer to God. If my father’s time on this earth taught us anything… it is that he made a difference, and so can you.
NOW WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Miss you dad. Thank you for reading.