Friday, November 1, 2013

We are all of the nature to change . . .

Sometimes I am contacted by area funeral homes to either officiate or sing at the chapel or grave side services of people I don't know . . . and because of their deaths, will never get to meet.  I honestly try to accommodate all such requests if my calendar allows it.  I guess it helps to have a great relationship with all the area funeral homes, and I do.  They all know that when I come, it's to serve those who are grieving.  It has little to do with me.
Most of the people I lead funeral services for  . . . are "old."

There really isn't any better way to put it.  They were old.  People who had lived long lives. Most died with families or friends by their side.

A few died alone. 
At times I sit with someone when death draws near, at their request or at the request of their family.  Doing so would make some people uncomfortable, I guess.  I find it something I seem "wired" to do, able to do, willing to do.   I listen to them breath. I hold their hand.  I sing or read scripture.

Birth is a blessed event.  Death is supposed to be as well, in my belief . . . or at least it can be.

It is a passion of mine that no one should ever have to die alone.  I know I don't want to die alone.
I just read about the death of someone most of you will have never heard of before.  A 98 year old female folk-singer from San Francisco . . . Faith Peltric.   In a blog about her mother, Faith's daughter included this quote:  

I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.
I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love
are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
Buddha - (Translation by Thich Nhat Hanh)
We are all of the nature to change . . . we can't ever be separate from change.
I needed to hear that today. 

I am growing old . . . the physical signs are all there.   Dealing with cancer for a year-and-a-half reminds me of how ill-health feels.

We are all of a nature to change.   I began to think some about that. Some things came to my mind.
I have, in my 56 years . . experienced a lot of 180's in my life . . . believing one things about certain groups of people (most often those beliefs being based on assumptions, other people's opinions, or other people's interpretations of religious writings) . . . only to come around to the other side as I learn and experience more about them.

I recently moved my office at the church to a smaller space.  In doing so, I found that I needed to go through a bunch of old files . . . mostly sermons that I wrote 10-20 years ago.   I threw all but a couple sermons into the recycle bin.  An appropriate place for them . . . because they were simply garbage. 

Good grief!!!   I was ashamed my name was associated with such garbage . . . like I am about some of the songs I have written!

More than once . . . I found myself saying, "I wrote that?

Or I found myself saying, "I thought that?"

Or an even worse feeling, "I actually preached that?"

It's obvious to me, that as I have lived these past years  . . . my focus and beliefs have broadened considerably, as have my personal understandings of faith and my interpretations of the Bible.  For me personally . . . a good thing.

I am of the nature to change.   Again, a good thing . . . since I read that when you stop changing, you die.  It's a law of nature.  Change is growth, and when you stop growing, you die.

Carve it in stone, and take it to the bank!

It may not be that way for some . . . but I think it is that way for me.

I am of the nature to change.  It causes some stress, but it also helps me appreciate that my life right now is very, very busy . . . but also very, very rich.

Thank you God, for change . . . and how dealing with it all causes me to seek to dwell in Your presence more.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>


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