So, yesterday morning I write about my state of being so empty. Yesterday afternoon, my son who lives in France phoned to tell me his youngest son, Samuel, is in the hospital in Fontainebleau with a high fever that they can't bring down and a possible kidney/bladder infection. I told Jonathan that he developed something like that when he was four or five but no cause was ever found. Later, Jonathan phoned again and said that the pediatrician over there would like the medical records of what happened to Jonathan in the early '80s. So I began to make phone calls to see if they could be retrieved. Little luck so far.
So, here I am, a pastor who knows how much comfort is found in sharing such things with others and asking for prayer. And I find myself almost paralyzed by the need to ask for that kind of support, although I have let a few know about this. I suspect this is both a symptom of my deep exhaustion and a wish not to focus attention on myself when there are so many others who need it. I have a memorial service to do this afternoon for a family whose mother died Sunday morning. I spent many, many hours with this great family, finding myself blessed by their love for their mother/grandmother (seven children, and a huge number of grandchildren, great's, nieces, nephews, in-laws, etc.). I want to give them all that they deserve in this time of final goodbyes. These are such holy moments, times when we are especially open to the probing, cleansing love of God.
It can and should become a time to focus on the glory of God. I have heard so many grieving people say to me, "Does (the deceased one) know what we are doing? Does she/he see how much we loved her and are trying to honor her memory?" I would say, "I'm betting they don't care--they are so caught up in the presence of the true unveiled glory of God that that of us which lives after death before the physical resurrection is really uninterested in whether you got the details right of the service." The services are not for the one who is dead, but for those who are living, who much come to a place of peace about their loss and prepare to move in and live in ways that honor the memory of the one they loved so.
So, guess I'd better get to work.
If you do read this, however, please pray for my grandson, Samuel. All of us are worried about him.