Friday, September 19, 2008


At the moment, I'm feeling a profound sense of sadness. I know it has multiple layers. The first contributor is the decline of my mother-in-law's health. John is with her now as decisions are being made regarding her extended care once out of the hospital. The second contributor is the story of a family in my community who is going through a tremendous amount of pain. I don't even know them but I feel their pain. The third contributor is the loss of several older folks within our church family in recent days.

I am rereading a book that was given to me after Bobby's death. In it the author makes this statement:
Pain is a gift, a sure sign that we are alive. Only the dead feel no pain, and that includes the dead people who, though still alive have rejected love and goodness and sorrow for so long that they have lost the ability to feel anything.

One of the biproducts of experiencing tremendous loss is, for me at least, that I feel things very deeply which includes the pain of others. That is both a blessing and a curse of sorts. My losses have not hardend my heart but have made it softer and more tender to the needs of others. As Jerry Sittser puts it,"I have been enlarged by my loss."

That brings up another point in experiencing life which often includes loss at some level.
We do not always have the freedom to choose the roles we must play in life, but we can choose how we are going to play the roles we have been given.

I can choose how I will respond to the circumstances that come my way or that come into the lives of ones I love, or perhaps those I hardly know. I have more thoughts welling up but I'm out of time for now. So, I'll keep pondering as I live today like there is no tomorrow.

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