This is dedicated in loving memory of Wynn Burrus
October 6, 1997 – September 17, 2019
We will never understand why the Lord took Wynn so suddenly, so young. How can we walk along side her family, how can we shoulder their grief? I don’t feel worthy to write about Wynn, but maybe, if even just one of us is challenged to live differently by her life, we can somehow honor Wynn and her grieving family.
As evidenced over and over again at her service Monday, Wynn was special. Not only was she incredibly accomplished and beautiful and smart and kind. She was more than that. She was somehow different.
Wynn saw people. She saw their value; she knew their worth, whether it was a group of special needs students at Broughton High School, her sorority sisters, a homeless man on Franklin Street or the receptionist at her fancy internship in Manhattan, Wynn made each of them feel seen.
Her love for people was active. She sought those on the fringes. It was really incredible to hear the stories. Why, we wonder? What made her so different?
Wynn’s love for Jesus Christ poured out of her soul. Her love for Him poured out onto those marginalized. She saw those who needed to be noticed. She saw because of Jesus.
Because of Wynn, we, too, can see people with new eyes.
Here is an excerpt from a speech she gave to the Root Elementary School graduating class a few years ago.
“I also want to encourage you to root for others. Nothing feels better than doing something for someone else. When I went to orientation at UNC about a year ago, my dad sent me a text that I will never forget. He said, “have fun and look out for the lonely people.” Have fun and look out for the lonely people. That is exactly what I want to encourage and challenge you all to do over the next years of your life. Certainly, have fun. Try something new. Do what you love. Be silly and laugh. No matter what you are doing, always make sure you’re having fun. Don’t just focus on yourself, though, be on the lookout for others too. If someone is sitting alone in the cafeteria next year, invite them to sit with you. If you see someone at the pool by themselves, go introduce yourself. If someone doesn’t have a group in class, invite them to be in yours. You have no idea how much simply noticing someone will mean to that person.”
“One invitation, one meal with someone, one gesture may not be a big deal to you, but the love and kindness you show surely can change someone else’s life.” — Wynn Burrus
Let’s honor beautiful Wynn with new eyes, and in her own words, “look out for the lonely people.”
To the Burrus family, we are heartbroken for the loss of your beautiful daughter and sister. May the presence of Jesus sustain you in the days and years to come. May we help shoulder your grief and in some way honor your great loss. We love you.