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Sunday, April 10, 2016

"The Loss Of You Is A Wound To The World": Kendall Earl Yoder 1991-2016

Kendall, at his recent wedding
Yesterday we attended a memorial service for my nephew Bob and Almaria Yoder's son, who died in an automobile accident April 1. He would have been 25 on May 14, and leaves behind his parents, his five siblings and his beloved young wife, Catherine Poss Yoder.

After some troubled years as a teen, Kendall became a dedicated Jesus follower, described by one of his peers as having a "fierceness of spirit". He also became known as an unusually empathic and valued mentor to youth and others at the Blue Ridge Community Church just west of Lynchburg. Some 400-500 members of his congregation, family and circle of friends came to pay their respects yesterday in an unforgettably moving service.

"He had a Spirit-led ability to see your heart and put his finger right on your pain and to challenge your point of view without being offensive or judgmental," wrote his father in a tribute to his son, "With utter disregard for being in style or religiously proper, he lived out the belief that every individual has equal, priceless value."

One of the teens in his church youth group spoke for many when she said, "You made us each feel loved and special. The loss of you is a wound to the world."

Another of his friends quoted him as recently comparing the painful task of grieving to being like cleaning up a very cluttered room. It doesn't matter so much where you start, he said, you just begin picking up whatever pieces you can and start to recover a little bit of hope at a time, until finally you find some order in all the chaos and disarray.

Little did he realize how soon so many of us would be in dire need of that kind of wisdom in dealing with our own grief.

Here's a link to Kendall's obituary http://tharpfuneralhome.com/funeralpress/kendall-yoder/1198/.
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