Dear Red Door,
You all are amazing. Thank you for giving your time and energy to help with the life-celebration of Red Door’s own–DeVonia Claire Kleeman Mikkelson–it was an awesome and beautiful day.
Then, again, why wouldn’t it be an over-the-top day when it comes to DeVonia? The life-force of Christ flowing through her–explains the energy, passion, and purpose driving her life-her message and legacy.
I always knew when she arrived at Red Door on Sundays. I would hear her say “hello” with her infectious laugh as she went up the stairs around the corner from the sanctuary where we had already started the morning.
I always thought she knew something that the rest of us did not know when she laughed. It was as, if, she knew there would be an amazing surprise ahead.
Now, I’m wondering if she had a better view of the unseen of life than most of us do. I’m convinced she knew God was always up to something BIG. I need more of that attitude. It’s pretty easy to let the cynicism of this world take over the sheer joy of knowing God is doing it today! Don’t we all need more of what DeVonia had?
Being in the space she took on earth always reminded me of the perfect places found on earth–those spots people talk and write about–the places we all want to experience. When we finally decide to go there–we follow the directions given to us by some mysterious voice on a phone app–which supposedly has mapped the best route to take the trip. There’s usually a point where it seems like something has been missed–because the trip can feel long. And . . . then . . . it happens . . . the mysterious voice promises the destination is just around the corner.
And, when you take that final turn and come to the destination—the view of this amazing place is breathtaking as you look above and see the never-ending towering snow capped mountains—and as you look down– to see a river endlessly winding around the base of the mountains. And, then, there’s the sky which does not seem to have a beginning or ending. It’s all more than anyone could ever imagine.
The space she occupied on earth was always that kind of breathtaking.
Because. She valued loving God and one another more than anything else, which was clearly the meaning of her life. I can tell you for sure she not only experienced the good but the hard. YET. For DeVonia, there was never a doubt that the life-force of Christ would be at the front and center of her life rather than any circumstance. She knew–God would never take her to a dead-end but always to a new beginning–because she had the favor of God.
Every. single. day.
I Corinthians 15:10 fits her perfectly–“I am what I am by the grace of God.”
Grace is the favor of God. She defined herself by it.
Here’s the thing:
I know when she looked back there were no regrets–because her life is filtered with the grace of God.
When it came time for her to breathe her last breath she turned the corner and saw what was before her.
I. can’t. even.
There had to be a large group cheering for her. My guess is that she gave her best hello combined with her infamous laughter the minute she stepped in.
She can experience the full love, peace, and joy of God without the pressure or stress from the darkness that resides in this world. I’m soooo going to miss her on this side.
But, then again, heaven is close–just around the corner -Kerrie
Special thanks goes to Pastor Joshua Lindley, Louise Lindley, Kelly Stearns, Cindy Etherton, Poli Vandewettering, Carol Deshon, Lori Cutrell, Brittney Hochhalter, Teri Terzenbach, Dana Seipp, and Gregg Palmer for being the RDC team of the day.