Chris and I received a double blessing this season by having two separate Christmas celebrations. Both brought fun. However, our memories of Christmas a year ago heightened the sweetness experienced during our earlier celebration.
A year ago, our son lay suffering from the ravages of a 10-hour cancer surgery followed by intensive and simultaneous treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. He missed Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and New Years and all the fun normally enjoyed during those special times. His wife, Melissa suffered along with him and did all she could to help as family members grieved.
How drastically one’s life can change in an unexpected moment! Two years, almost to the day after our first Halloween flood, we watched water creep in under the outer doors. “It’s coming,” I shouted. As far as we could see, water surrounded us. Once again, we had water front property.
Who would believe we were being flooded a second time in two years? By the time the water began pouring in, we had taken as many things as we could to the loft. Once water crawled across the floors, we grabbed pillows, blankets, water and some food and climbed upstairs to safety. Continue reading
Death, with its fear and agony, grants many blessings. As our son in law walks through his final days, those of us who love Brian grasp for understanding. We search for “silver linings” in this agonizing process.
I stand on the firm belief that God does not smite some and grant health to others. Death, with its accompanying suffering comes because life continues to be life. A personified presence does not select an individual for a radical lesson in dying. Life happens. Death continues to exist as part of the human experience.
What blessings do we recognize as the walk to death continues?
No one can tell you what you should believe about God. You have to dig that out for yourself. Your minister can share his or her beliefs. Your Mom and Dad and Grandparents can also share. In the end, you will come to your own conclusion. Although I know you will ultimately find your own truth, I want to share what God means to me. I believe God is a word we use to attempt to communicate about a power that is so vast it defies naming with any word at all. Different people use different words to try and express their thoughts about God. Almost all are acceptable. A few (but not even close to all) possible names include words such as: Source, Power, Energy, Light, Jesus, Lord, and Spirit. The list includes words from other religions such as YHWH from Judaism or Allah from Islam. For me, the exact word is not important. The heart’s intention is all-important.
Sometimes, individuals and groups misuse their concept of God. You can always tell appropriate from inappropriate connections with God. If the outcome promotes love, it is pure. If the outcome or goal harms others or nature, it is vile and not godly. Prayers are thoughts shared with God. The scary part is that even daily thoughts are powerful. Ask yourself, “Would I want God to hear me think or say this?” Everyone slips and has terrible thoughts. Everyone is instantly forgiven. It is a safe system. What you decide you believe about God will be correct for you.