Sadness and grief continued

life-is-so-ironic-it-takes-sadness-to-know-what-30714385Today I was very disappointed. On Tuesday’s I have lunch with two wonderful people from the church where I worked. While there I asked the pastor (who is an interim) if the “weekly” (lands in the pews each week) could include the address of my devotional blog Hear God in Other Voices. (heargodinothervoices.blog) He said that other people had asked that their addresses be included and that it couldn’t be done. This is not his being unkind but it is just policy and probably  shouldn’t be his call at this time anyway. New pastors are coming in August and it really is up to them.

It did, however, make me sad. For many of the 20 years that I was there I wrote and published devotionals for the church. People were very complimentary and I was asked by many to continue doing it.

I guess this just (again) brought home to me how disconnected I am from those years of work. Part of this is (of course) my own fault for not attending church there but I felt it was the right thing to do to help people adjust to my not being there after so long.

I am sad and will send a link to some church members I suspect would enjoy the blog but that doesn’t really help how I feel. I know that this is part of the changes we face in life but at times it can really hurt. I am so thankful that the church I attend with my husband is happy to include the link in the newsletter.

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Life moves on and we have to move with it or we are left in a past that is no longer there. My life will continue to be fulfilling as I branch out into new paths. My writing is a blessing to me and is healing in itself. We each have to find the things that provide solace and healing  when we are down and remember to use them.

 

I weep, truth must be heard

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.-—George Orwell

This quote speaks so clearly to me of our times. It seems that truth has passed away and we should be mourning.  There are no more statesmen only politicians. There is no more consideration for the good of people or nations but only for the people in control. Because of the rapid sharing of information this virus has spread throughout the world. Power, money and position are all that matters.

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I weep for the world. I weep for the children and their children. I weep for all that was before. Mankind has never been perfect, never been without greed or hubris but it wasn’t the total driving source. Goodness was found in the past and can still be found but it is being pushed into dark culverts and trash strewn alleys. The voice of truth and wisdom is almost not recognized. It has become a foreign language.

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We must, somehow, begin to be heard. We must speak until our voices rise above the corruption and greediness of the powerful. We cannot stay silent. Each of us has one voice but one voice added to another voice doubles the sound. We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced.

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We must speak out about injustices: sexual, racial, status, health, lifestyle, position, occupation, age and any others that rise to minimize others. We must speak clearly about the state of the earth, a living thing with animals, plants and humans, and our abuse of the resources we pillage. Nothing else will do.

I weep for us all. I weep.

We must speak. It is time for truth.

Not the best day

Today I have not really experienced the day. I am somewhere else….living in what is to come. Monday we go to Mayo Clinic and I hope get some schedule for my husbands knee surgery. I feel as if I am living in limbo. I know I should let the future go and just live each day but today it hasn’t worked. I am tired of not knowing. One of the hardest things to tolerate. So today I lean on this quote.

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Strange apathy –missing what?

apathy1200xLately I have felt apathetic about going to church. There is no specific reason for this that I can see. Nothing is wrong with either the church I worked at or the church I am attending with my husband. They are both friendly churches that adopt members as part of the family. You always feel welcomed and loved. It makes me wonder what’s up?

I am not really sure. I have not backed away from my relationship with God. It is growing stronger than it has been in a while. When you work for a church there is always the danger that you are working more than worshiping. I know I fell into it easily.  Now I actually spend time with God. Not enough but much more than I was. My connection with God is enriched and I am grateful for that.

I do still miss greatly laying hands on people and praying for healing. This is a part of my past ministry that causes my soul to ache, It fed me in a way it is difficult to explain. I was not doing anything myself for it was God who was using my hands and my love….outpouring for others. I still tear up when I think of what it meant for me. God was physically present each moment.

My spiritual life is much more solitary and I am not a solitary person. This is a struggle for me but one that God is pushing me into. I am caught in the longing to do something more physical instead of meditative. Maybe I need to try moving meditation. (which actually is a thing) I would still want to do it with others.

connection-004I have always been aware of my need to deepen my relationship with God and at times during my life have had a deep and amazing connection. Now I need to re-connect.

So why does this translate into a lack of passion for church itself? I wish I knew. I can see clearly that stepping away is not the right choice. It is so easy to develop a pattern of staying home on Sunday morning and it becomes a habit that is hard to change. Church is also not about my feelings although for me, until now, it has frequently been an emotional boost. Church has not changed. I have and I need to spend time delving into myself to seek answers.

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I need an emotional boost. I need to find an amazing conference or heart rending speaker who challenges me and reignites the fire that I can’t find.

God will supply my need. I just wish he would hurry up!

Death comes all too soon – choose life

Eventually we all lose the people we love (or they lose us). We cannot live forever. Life for each us does have an end. Is this a bad thing? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not.

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At one time in my life I was angry about a child losing her life in an automobile accident. I railed against her losing her life so young. Her life was cut short. I resented that and was angry at God.

I visited a minister friend to talk about this feeling and I frequently bring to mind what he said. “Each of us has a life span. It is ours and ours alone. It may be long or it may be short. But it is ours. Each life is not cut short. That is the length of their life.”

Whether you agree with this or not it gave me much to think about. I have decided that the idea contains much wisdom. It helps when I can’t understand why someone’s life has ended.

There are some things that are harder to deal with than death. It is so difficult to watch someone we love disappear one piece at a time. This is what Alzheimer’s patients do. Little bits of them fall away. Memories are gone, friends are unknown, family is not recognized. I see this slow fading as worse than death. It is called “the long goodbye.”

There are other times that death comes as a blessing. Agonizing chronic illness can make the person long for death. Having a loved one become weak, disabled with no recovery and slip away day by day is another.

For those who suffer with mental illness especially anxiety and depression there are times when death can feel like an escape from the pain of living. I hope that each of us can find some help, some relief that moves us away from that decision. Life is worth living and things can be better. Never give up life. We only have so much time and each moment, each day is a gift.

Today I will choose life notebook-500x500

I did not intend to write such a sad post but these things do happen. Losing someone is painful no matter how it happens. Losing ourselves also brings grief. When that happens we have to find a new way to be. Find ourselves as a new and different person. One who can move forward each day.

Choose life!

Remembering with tears

This is Memorial Day in the US. Many people do not know that this day of remembrance was begun by former slaves honoring the dead Union soldiers in Charleston, South Carolina. This is a day for remembering those who made the final sacrifice.

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My husband is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. We married after graduation and spent 20 years moving from post to post. West Point instills in it’s graduates a phenomenal love of country and a desire to be the best person you can be. My husband has lived out that code his entire life.

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Two years of that time were spent in Viet Nam with a brief tour in the states in between. He led a Company of soldiers and spent the first year almost entirely in the jungle. His men faced danger every day. The jungle was so hot that they literally rotted through their uniforms and new ones had to be delivered by helicopter each week. They never knew each day if they would be just struggling through the heavy jungle growth or fighting for their lives. Each night’s rest could be interrupted by gunfire and fear. He fought during the Tet Offensive and cannot talk about that time.

His men loved him and after he returned home I received a letter in the mail with money collected from the company for us to enjoy meals out. He was the only commander who walked away from that company. The others died.

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Each day I thank God that he returned home, not only in one piece, but also able to endure the memories. He has been to the Viet Nam wall in Washington, DC once and will never go again. It is too painful

Just thinking about the men who fought with him and the classmates of his who died in that war brings tears to my eyes and his. Neither of us can listen to taps played at military funerals. May God grant peace to all those who served in that war and all others. Those who lived and those who died. They blessed our lives.

Who is that woman? What matters most?

aging gracefullyLife never goes backwards. It continues to move us forward even if we don’t want to. We all have thoughts about what we will be like as we grow older. I envisioned this slim elegant woman. Didn’t happen. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder “who is that person.” I have not aged the way I thought I would. I imagine you have noticed that the picture on my site is one of my basset hounds. There is a reason for that. I always thought that I would age gracefully but it has not worked out that way. My body didn’t cooperate. Who is that person in the mirror?

The good news is that some of the other (and more important things) have come true. I am still active, my mind is ok? at least I think so. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.

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We may have certain ideas about how we will age but many of them are not important. We need to keep working on the things that are important. We need to have people we love in our lives. We need to keep learning and growing. We need to share ourselves with others. We need to participate in the world both the one near to us and the wider world. If we do these things then life will continue to have meaning until the day we leave this world. Concentrate on what is important.

I’m still wondering “who is that woman in the mirror?”