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)