The most challenging piece I have ever written is the following. How do you write about someone who meant so much to you when you never took the opportunity to tell them when they were here? Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned so much from Bekett Noble and have grown so much as a Christian thanks to their kindness and support.
I first met Bekett in September of 2021 when they and a few peers made a proposal to Student Senate for a Genesis club. Genesis was proposed as a club that was designed by Bekett and a few peers to provide LGBTQ2+ students a safe space to gather on campus, express themselves in their identity, and study Scripture as a community. While conversations between Genesis, Student Senate, and Redeemer were long and caused frustration for those involved, Bekett didn’t let on. They continued to shine a burning light for Christ by consistently exemplifying the fruit of the spirit of kindness, patience, love, and gentleness. Through the challenging but informative conversations that came forward, I was blessed in getting to know Bekett more and more—their contagious love and support for everyone they came into contact with, their admirable spirit of looking out for those in need and those who felt marginalized in the Redeemer community, and their infectious relationship with Jesus. They cared about everyone around them and sought to make life and the Redeemer community more inclusive for every student. They will forever hold my strongest admiration for this.
Reflecting on the many conversations I had with Bekett over the past fifteen months, my mind has been opened to several things. Through peaceful and respectful dialogue around critical issues—issues that need to be talked about, like gender and sexuality—I’ve grown a lot in my ways of thinking about these topics as a Christian. Not only did Bekett help me learn how to approach these topics but how to love and treat others with dignity and respect. Bekett showed kindness and respect to everyone they came into contact with, a true leader on campus who sought to make the world a better place, one step at a time, often quietly and without drawing attention.
Bekett has forever changed the ways I talk and think about topics that have been deemed controversial and contentious in the Christian community. Bekett was the Christian that I long to be like: a true disciple of Christ who chose love over hate, grace over anger, peace over conflict, and compassion over judgment and a truly Christ-like figure whom I learned so much from and grew because of.
Among the many things I’ll miss about Bekett moving forward is the friendliest smile and the most sincere, “How’s it going?” that I will never have the privilege of hearing again as I walk through the halls of Redeemer. Whether it was picking up a package at the front desk and briefly chatting about weightlifting and the benefits of exercise or a quick, unexpected quip about something while they were working the front desk of 21Five, Bekett knew how to make people laugh and just feel better about themselves. They constantly lifted the mood of the room. It’s been over a week since their passing and I’ve missed those warm greetings daily, and I cherish the ones I got over the past year.
After attending Bekett’s memorial at Redeemer on December 3rd, I couldn’t help but smile seeing how many people Bekett positively influenced. They were a beautiful person who inspired and encouraged so many people to be themselves, and while they might not be here physically to continue that, I know their life is still encouraging and inspiring people all across the Redeemer community.
Looking back, I wish I had taken advantage of the time I had and told Bekett all of this, face-to-face, and thanked them for educating me on what it means to be not only a Christian but also a good, honest, and integral person. My hope and joy is knowing we will be reunited again someday. Until that special day—thanks, Bekett, for everything. You’ve helped shape and re-vitalize my faith and relationship with Christ and my peers in ways no one else could. For that, I am forever grateful to you.