Thursday, May 18, 2006

No Words

I wanted a home for my words, but words have been lacking lately.

First, I was away from computers for about a week. I was living on the border of the United States and Mexico, learning about border issues. Timely, I might add. But I'm not ready to publish words about that experience.

And then I came home to find a situation in which words are not adequate. I found out that a member of my congregation committed suicide. This young beautiful woman took her own life, leaving behind her husband and three small children between the ages of 7 and 2. Presiding at this funeral and all that entails was/is by far the most difficult thing I have ever done.

And so, I have no words right now.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sacred Space

There are some spaces that are sacred, special, holy ground. There are moments when it is evident to me that I am in the presence of God. Last week, I was in sacred space and I felt like I didn't belong, but was blessed to be invited. A family was gathered in the hospital room of their dying loved one, her husband, her father, her brother, her step-father, his father-in-law. And he was too young and the hopes had been so great. He had been in the hospital for weeks, his positive outlook hard-wired. But then he got to go home--to sleep in his own bed, to play with his 'toys,' to love his family. Then it happened, the worst possible news--the cancer was back and he gently began to slip away, pain medication easing those final moments for him. He knew he would be in a better place, as did we. And because of my role, I was invited into this space--this hospital room, in the circle of loved ones. I didn't belong; I didn't even know him that well. This was sacred space for this family and I was privileged to be a part of it.

And it took me back, it takes me back, to the other sacred spaces that shape my life. To the one so like this one--the man dying too young, the cancer eating away his life, the promise of a better place. To the room filled with love, to the oxygen tubes, to the pain medication, to the nurse and friend shaking her head, "he's gone." To that moment that would change my life forever. To learning at nine that death is forever, but so is life and so are God's promises. To continuing to learn and believe that. To missing my daddy, but knowing that some spaces are sacred and so is a life full of love.