Jill's Journal: Love God – Love People and Be Kind to One Another

Jill Meier, Journal editor
I didn’t know Noah Kimball. But as I scrolled through Facebook over the weekend and spied apparel that was being marketed to simply share his message, “Love God – Love People And Be Kind To One Another,” I pushed the purchase button without hesitation.
The apparel was being sold not for a company to make a profit off of a tragedy, but to keep the young man’s memory alive and his uplifting words in the forefront of our minds, serving as somewhat of a roadmap to how we should all strive to live each day.
On Sunday night, as I stood in the back of the sanctuary at Celebrate Community Church, I felt out of place. It wasn’t the church that had me feeling that way nor the tears of the room filled with his friends, classmates and families mourning his death. From reports and the many messages that I’ve read about Noah over the last week, it was surely evident, he was a good kid with a kind heart and a “bubbly” personality that somewhere in his young life had earned him the nickname of “Bubbles.”
My out of place feeling was more about the connection that I didn’t have to Noah, but it was surely evident that the 200-plus in attendance had a strong connection to him.
As Pastor John Semchenko said that night, there are no words for times like these. “We are all suffering,” he said, leading the crowd in prayer that helped to offer some comfort to Noah’s friends and classmates and family.
It’s never easy to accept a loss, whether that be on the playing field, a potential job offer, or most importantly, the loss of a life, especially the loss of a child’s life. The latter is something most of us on this Earth will never fully understand. But I, and I’m confident that all who attended Sunday’s night’s vigil in Noah’s honor, felt a sense of peace as Pastor Semchenko said, “Noah knew Jesus.”
I didn’t stick around long after Pastor Semchenko encouraged mourners to stay as long as they’d like. I felt an awkwardness putting on my “reporter hat” at that moment. Instead, I packed up my camera and left quietly. And it was in this moment that I truly grasped Noah’s words to live by: “Love God – Love People And Be Kind to One Another.”
I felt the right thing to do was to let his friends and classmates and family have this time to simply be together, to remember a kid who noticeably so lived by his words.


The Brandon Valley Journal


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