Thursday, May 03, 2007

Not Being There

There was a funeral this morning for a pillar of the church community and I was hundreds of miles away in Princeton, NJ. Needless to say, I had much guilt about not being there.

A colleague in the neighbouring town, who is also close with the family, has taken the service and I emailed her some thoughts and memories I wanted to share. She emailed me the full text of the service this morning.

At 11:00, during break and skipping out on a lecture/workshop, I sat under a tree and read through the service. I felt it was the least I could do.

One of the things I had said I was looking forward to about being here was the chance to simply be a participant. There were no leadership responsibilities or expectations on me, I could just be a worshipper, a student in a class, someone standing in line for supper.

This morning, by my being away, I could, again, simply be someone who was mourning and grieving senseless loss. My leadership responsibilities were fulfilled and I could just be me. I read through the words, assured that back in Forest, those same words were being shared with a packed church sanctuary. Outside under a tree, I cried and sent my prayers and thoughts back home. We are connected in many and mysterious ways.

As I noted the dandelions pushing through the green lawn, I’m reminded again that life will continue to stubbornly push through and make itself known. The power of love and growth cannot be stopped. We will go on and I can feel OK with the world.

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