Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Funeral and a Moving Truck

Today is the funeral for a member of our congregation who battled cancer for nearly three years. She was, and is, the embodiment of so many cliches you here at a time like this like: "She was far too young to die" or "She was so full of life." She absolutely was those things and more. She leaves behind three teenage children and a husband. However, she was a vibrant person here on earth and so I fully expect the service today to be the same... a true celebration of her life.

What I hope I don't here is those platitudes so often uttered at a time like this. Oh, they are well meaning, but I think sometimes people miss the implications of what they're saying.

"God must have needed another angel." Really? God needed her more in heaven than her husband, kids, other family, and friends? That must be a small weak God you believe in if you believe that God needed her more. Yes, God will benefit by her presence at the banquet table, but I highly doubt God needed her more.

"Don't worry, God doesn't give you more than you can handle." I don't know, call me crazy but I am pretty confident that having your wife die in the prime of her life is more than someone can handle alone. I suspect having to try and raise three teenagers alone who are now, understandably, acting out because of their mother while you are dealing with your own personal grief is probably more than one can handle alone. I have a hunch that having your mother die while you are still a teenager is more than one person can handle. I do, however, believe that God will help you handle whatever life dishes out. With God walking by their side they will be able to handle it... eventually... Which leads to the other problem with the statement. It implies that God has given this family this situation, that it was God who killed their wife, mother, or daughter. Really?

Anyway, I suppose it's an appropriate day for a funeral. Today we are taking a moving van of stuff to Rome. The "For Sale" sign is in the yard and today the moving process "officially" begins even if my call doesn't quite end yet. So today, as we start closing another chapter in our own lives a little piece of us will die.

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