When Words Fail

Not long after our denomination's annual, a colleague of mine drove out to Iowa to officiate at a family wedding. While at the wedding, news came that his grandnephew had committed suicide. So he stayed on to do the funeral. On the morning of the funeral service, another minister who was taking part in the funeral said, "I don't feel much like being a pastor today."

Words fail at times like this. No trite phrases or platitudes can hold up. My colleague spoke of the love of God which passes all understanding, and of the promise of the resurrection, and together this family clung on to hope, because that was all they had left.

Earlier today, we passed around a card for another colleague, whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack last week. He was buried Saturday and today. They had planned to retire soon and enjoy life together, and now she faces an uncertain future, trying to make her way alone. "God hold you close in these days" was all I could muster for her card.

Meanwhile in India, hundreds of families are mourning their loved ones, snuffed out by terrorists bombs, and Edris Moore, a mother in Missouri, mourns her four children who were swept away in the Meramec River while on a church outing.

A friend of mine taught me once about the sacrament of the present moment--a term he learned about in the one book in seminary he enjoyed reading. Tonight I'm going to give that sacrament a try. I'm going to go home and not yell at my kids for once, read them a few extra books, and instead of packing them of to bed and going down to the basement to work right away, I'll lay down with them until they go to sleep.

I have them today. No one has promised me tomorrow. Tonight I want to remember that.


Powered by Blogger