Friday, March 25, 2016

Retrieve Lament: a mourning story from Shaun Fox

Each year during Holy Week, I ask friends to share a mourning story from their own life as a way to help us see Christ in the midst of suffering. Shaun has become a dear friend to Brian and me. When we attended his father's funeral in January, I was deeply touched by the grace and honesty Shaun demonstrated in giving his dad's eulogy. He manages to address a sense of loss that marked parts of his relationship with his Dad,  while also honoring the good gifts his father gave him and their community.  As a parent, I can't imagine a better way to be honored by my own child. Shaun gave me permission to share what he said at the service with you all here today.  A blessed Good Friday to you, friends.  

A eulogy for my dad, Randy Fox: 

Sometimes it’s hard for a son to truly know his father the way that he would like. Likewise it can be hard for a father to truly know his sons or daughters. Even now, at thirty-one, it’s hard for me to believe that I’m a “grownup” with children and a wife who love me, who need me.

Like my father, I work hard to care for them and provide for them. Like my father, I am trying to know my children and prepare them for life ahead. Like my father, I have days where I fail and days where I succeed. Like for my father, there is grace for either kind of day.

It can be difficult for a son to comprehend his father in other roles. Being a coworker, a mentor, a friend, a husband, a team leader, a brother, a son. But my brothers and I only got to see glimpses of his life in those other roles. Through your stories about him we know that he gave the best of himself not only to us, but to you too.

My dad spent his life caring for us. Being a good friend. Working hard at his job. Teaching others. Loving his wife.

I cannot fail to bring up his love for the outdoors – the lake, sailing, camping, building. Because these were some of his life-long loves. Passions which he shared with many of you. He brought you in to be a part of his favorite things because he loved you and wanted to enjoy them with you.

I have taken for granted many of the ways he invited me into his life, and taught me things, and helped me grow. He taught me how to build, how to sail, and how to camp. He taught me how to be a gentleman, how to play, and how to work hard. These qualities and skills are only a few of the great virtues of his life – only a small piece of who he was.

People tell me from time to time that I’m just like my father. And there was a time when I didn’t like to hear that. But now I’m proud to say that in many ways, I am like my father.

“Everyone dies. Everyone leaves. What matters is the things you build together before they go. What matters is the part of them that continues in you when they’re gone.” (from Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card)
Let us remember him. Let us remember the good man that he was. Let us remember the ways that he invited us into his life, and let us go and do the same.

Shaun lives in Austin with his wonderful wife and daughters. He is the Creative Director at Snaptrends, and loves learning and experimenting with new skills and technologies. You can see his creative work at his website

I count it a high privilege to know -- at least in small part -- the mourning stories of the dear ones who will share here for seven days. Their lives walk the path between celebration, yes, but also suffering -- illness, relational disillusionment, anxiety, joblessness, death of loved ones, death of dearly-held dreams. Their stories have helped form me in my understanding of suffering and I believe they could also encourage you too. The philosopher Blaise Pascal said that Christ suffers until the end of the world. As we welcome each other's stories, we welcome the Suffering Servant himself.


(See all of the Retrieve Lament stories from previous years here)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...