This morning I’m in Lansing, MI at the Michigan Statewide Teen Convention thinking about my friends and family in my hometown that are gathering to celebrate the life of Keats Wood. Many in Vestaburg call him a legend and I would agree.
Keats served in many roles at the school, but I remember Keats more from church. Keats taught our 4th-6th grade Sunday School Class. I remember him taking the stories we had heard many times before and bringing them to life. He taught us how to read Scripture as more than just stories.
In more recent years, I learned how great Keats was at encouraging others. Every Sunday I was home while I was teaching school, Keats always asked how things were in my classroom. He would ask me about how many knives I had pulled off kids that semester, how many students had passed the last playing test, or if I had fallen in love with teaching yet? Those conversations always ended with Keats telling me he was confident I was a good teacher and that I could make it to the end of the year.
When I started working as a campus minister, Keats continued to encourage me and always asked about our Notre Dame students. He was a huge Michigan State fan and I can’t think of one trip home where we didn’t discuss college sports and how much college life has changed over the years.
This year, my home church has lost several men who were great examples of faith to me. Keats was one of them. The legacy he leaves behind forces me to question the legacy I’m leaving behind. Am I helping those around me take steps towards Christ? Keats did, and I’m grateful.