Funerals and Pearls

On Saturday I officiated at the funeral service for my Uncle Bennie. It was my first funeral, and it was challenging to lead a service for family. I would look out and see people hurting, and they were my people, and that made it hard. I got to where I couldn’t even focus on faces: Rhonda who lost a loving father-in-law, Judy who lost a husband of 52 years, and Bennie’s three sons: Bennie Ray, Tim and Les with a sea of emotions moving across their faces.
 
But we do not cry if we do not love, my mentor Barbara reminded me before I left. The pain is an indication of our connectedness to another.
 
I lost my voice leading the burial service –standing in the cold mud beside Bennie’s grave and trying to be heard by the group spread awkwardly around on all sides. The sun broke through that afternoon, and the sky was clean, and the moist ground and the moist eyes of Bennie’s people mirrored each other.
 
It was a moment of worship.
 
I came home feeling scrubbed clean by the brisk wind at the cemetery and stretched out by those wide West Texas horizons that filled our view on the drive home.
 
Our lives can so easily collapse in on themselves, can’t they? The intensity of work and of caring for self and others overwhelms so that even the fun stuff like preparing meals or giving little cuties a bath can just leave one feeling out of breath and out of alignment with the Spirit or our better self.
 
Today I am thankful for Bennie and his compassion and kindness. I am thankful for a family that loves even as they grieve, and turns their gaze from the grave to each other. And I am grateful for the shift in perspective this weekend granted even as I am so happy to embrace again the everyday rhythms.
 
I pray that worship in our community can always be a space to remind us of these deeper truths and to soften our hearts and to connect our lives.
 
Peace to you all this day,
 
 
Courtney
 
Please join us Sunday as we continue our series on Godly Play and hear and discuss the parable of the Great Pearl (Mttw 13:45-46). 

Richie and I host our St. Brigid’s Feast this Tuesday 6-8pm. Join us for potato soup as we celebrate this Irish saint whose vision of heaven was sitting around a lake of beer with her beloveds. (In addition to the soup, we’ll provide cheap beer and gluten free cookies, you bring the good stuff!) 2515 Gladiolus Ln. Dallas. This will be a very kid-friendly venue with crafts and special St. Brigid’s prayers. come all!
 
The board is working out our final lease agreement with the Kessler Theater so mark your calendars for a special service to say good bye to the ducks on Sun Feb. 27th!

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