My heart has been heavy throughout the evening and into the morning. We give one of earth’s best worshipers over to the courts of heaven. This is a worship pastor’s tribute to Kim Anderson: an amazing woman, dedicated mom, passionate artist, and fierce weekly worshiper of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Kim went to be with the Lord last night after a fight with cancer.
Every worship pastor wishes that their congregation could be filled with “Kims.” Kim was always tracking with me in the content of this blog, and I felt like she was a kindred spirit in so much of what I write and reflect on. She drank deeply from the wells of history, theology, art, hymnody, anthropology, and philosophy. She got what it meant, even in a more reserved worship context like Cherry Creek, to worship God with heart, soul, mind, and strength. She thought like a Reformed evangelical Christian, and she worshiped like a charismatic. With regard to worship styles, she was a “stylistic mut,” like me. She sang in our choir, deeply moved by high classical pieces. And she sang in the backing ensemble of our modern worship album, Without Our Aid. She belted our organ-led hymns–a soaring, full-chested, ringing soprano tone. She sang free-form descant parts over our contemporary and modern worship tunes…everyone knew when Kim was in the building. People sometimes stared at her in worship. She didn’t care, because she always knew Who she was trying to please. Every worship leader wants more “Kims.” But perhaps if every congregation were filled with those kinds of worshipers, it would be too much for earth to handle. That kind of stuff is probably reserved for the courts above.
Kim was the artistic director behind several of our major musical and dramatic productions at Cherry Creek. She helped oversee our dramatic performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, wrote scripts for our Christmas productions, and even starred in a few of them. Speaking of her writing, I’ve never seen a playwright pour so much rich theological reflection into a script. Kim was passionate about gathering and connecting artists in the Denver Metro area and, through simple hospitality, encouraging the flourishing of the arts for the sake of God’s glory. Kim also raised three very artistic children. Her oldest daughter, Chloe, has a fantastic eye for film production and is an artistic entrepreneur in Denver. Her middle daughter, Petra, is a composer, arranger, and violist. Her son, Robert, is a terrific guitarist, currently exploring the artistic merits of metal. Kim’s husband of many years, Jack, is one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever met–fluent in Russian, avid bagpiper, and well-versed in classic literature and theology. In short, Kim surrounded herself with and created a culture of artistry.
Not many weeks ago, I and some other elders gathered in Kim’s home with her kids. We had a mini worship service shaped around the Trinity. (I couldn’t get away with planning anything less than robust when I would be leading a worship service in Kim’s home.) We worshiped the Father with a song. We worshiped the Son with a song. We worshiped the Spirit with a song. We confessed our sins. We reminded ourselves of God’s assurance of forgiveness in and through Christ. Then we prayed…and prayed some more. We anointed her with oil and pleaded with God to heal her body. God had a different answer than we were expecting. Throughout this ugly ordeal of cancer, Kim always said, in faithfulness…the kind of faithfulness borne of the Spirit in the true saints of God…”I am willing to do whatever pleases God, whether in life or in death.” Would to God that he make more saints with that kind of boldness. I’m not there yet, myself.
Pray for Kim’s children, especially. They are all young adults and need their Heavenly Father to fill in the parental gap as they navigate life.
“The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
Kim was also among the more thoughtful, and thought-provoking, in CCPC's Foundations class. She cut through issues and applied Scripture with gentleness of spirit and gobs of conviction. Her soul has a richness rarely encountered. Heaven rejoices, and we will meet again.
Thanks Zach for your eloquent style and spiritual understanding of Kim. She truly was a "lady" in tune with her Lord to the end. We will all miss her and yearn for the day when we too, shall see her again.
Thank you ever so much for these words. As the globe turns and wakens another time zone to the praises of our great God and King, i realize that Kim has now joined in with the 'heavenly places' and saints above to be unleashed in her adoration of her Savior. Thank you for honoring this saint and reminding us of our high call of worship. With tears, I write this, because of the deep sorrow of physical death and the grieving that this family will experience. Oh Lord, be merciful to Chloe, Petra and Robert.
Grace to you Zac.
Beautifully written, Zac. Is there a chance we will sing one of your hymns accompanied by the "congregation" vocals from your CD that Kim sang on?
Tears of appreciation for "getting her" and all she embodied, Zac.
There wasn't a minute of time we spent together that I was not enriched with her richness. Working with her on productions like Elijah and other endeavors, her desire and press for the best possible, were times filled with a passionate drive to serve the Lord first and honor and bring glory to Him. Always- warmed by her gentle spirit and light with joy, breaking out in some effervescent laughter, together. She embodied faith on solid ground, even when it was quaking and slipping away. She was the kind of woman that made you a better person, just being around her. Depth in an often shallow world around you. …a little bit of peace even when things were in pieces.
I praise God for placing her in my midst and I praise Him for taking her to the place of her every desire and vision. Truly blessed by our friendship-
You summed it up perfectly. Great eulogy. I am very blessed to have known Kim and worshiped with her. She showed my wife and I a grace-centric mooring in many aspects in the spiritual parenting of our children. She is now drinking draughts of deep joy with the likes of Lewis, Tolkien, and all of her favorite saints. Well done Kim. Pray for all of us who are left to finish our work here in the valley of woe.