Today I officiated at the funeral of Greg Lambden. While I did not know Greg, I know his family and I know how very important he was to his family. Greg was only 35 when he died. His life was way too short. Greg had Spinal Bifida. One doctor gave him no chance at life when he was born. Thirty-five years later, we were celebrating a life of a man who made a big difference in this world. Greg had to overcome much more than most of us can imagine. From all accounts, Greg did not just overcome and survive — he thrived and he loved life. He loved his family and he loved his friends.

I was witness to something remarkable today. Nearly 200 people filled a room and brought their love together to blanket Dan and Sandie, and Danielle a warm support to help them face this incredible loss. I was also so very privileged to hear a couple fo wonderful eulogies to this great young man. Steve Kerr spoke so well and reminded us all that Greg is so very free from any weighty concern, worry or pain and is soaring freely. Greg’s good friend (his brother really) Nav gave an incredible tribute to his friend. He sang, he told stories, he wept, he laughed, he consoled, he encouraged, he reminisced and he gave us a snapshot of a live which was lived with and incredible will and an indomitable spirit. I was so moved by Nav’s testimony of how important Greg was in his life.   

As I listened to Sandie and Dan tell me about Greg and as I heard these powerful tributes to Greg, I was reminded of the words of the great American priest Phillips Brooks – “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger [people]! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks.”

I often buckle under challenges that pale in comparison to what Greg had to face every day. It becomes easy for me to look at whatever today’s aggravation might be and pray that things would just be easier for me. Then I meet people like Greg who somehow always found the power to equal the many tasks that he had. I get frozen by fear at times, particularly when facing the unknown. Greg set out to conquer with grace so many unknowns. I am grateful to have been a part of this powerful celebration of life today. Thankful because Greg taught me something – even in death. You see the wonder of it all is that in telling Greg’s story – we allow the life that he had not just to be honoured, but to continue to have an impact. Greg’s impact on the world lives on in the lives of the people that he loved and shaped.

The day is coming to a close for me. As I reflect on the events of today, I find myself praying for courage like Greg’s and the for the strength like his — that I may find strength equal to my tasks. Thank you Greg Lamden and thank you to your family and friends for inspiring so many today by sharing his story. 

To read Greg Lambden’s Obituary click here