In Which I Feel Sad, But Still Try to Be Kind (#BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Wednesday, October 7, 2015

As I read through selected blog posts from last year, I get vivid snapshots of life and experiences. As in this one, from one year ago. Yes, the post contains some everyday happenings, the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life. Yet, those happenings can also be poignant and bittersweet, sometimes somber. Sometimes sad or grieving, myself. Even heart-wrenching, at times. Lord, thank You for the opportunity and the ability You have given me, to be available for people and to walk with them in the happy times as well as the sad times.

 

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In Which I Feel Sad, But Still Try to Be Kind

lilacs and candle  credit - ocean of compassion

lilacs and candle
credit – ocean of compassion

I tried to be kind today. I truly did.

Since today was Tuesday, I read to the preschoolers and kindergarteners this morning. (That always makes me happy!) I answered a number of emails, responded to several items of business, and personally wrote thank you notes to all of the businesses that were kind enough to give raffle prizes to St. Luke’s Church—for the Spaghetti Dinner last Saturday. Busy day at work today!

But, that was not all. I found out about a dear senior today who is not in very good health. Dear, dear senior saint. I feel for this senior so deeply. I have been calling and visiting on a regular basis, over the past number of weeks. And I feel discouraged. Deeply sad.

Over the last ten years, I have known a number of people who became sick and died. Some over a long period of time, others more quickly. Some even suddenly, traumatically. It doesn’t particularly matter why they died, except for the fact that they did die.

I’ve been a chaplain for most of the past ten years. I’ve seen trauma, gun shots, stabbings, heart attacks, strokes, broken hips. Patients in the Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency Department, as well as in Extended Care and even after they’ve been released. And some of the saddest, most heartbreaking situations of all, when I was paged to Labor and Delivery for an emergency call. (For some reason, these calls are often in the middle of the night.) So, I’ve seen sadness. I have journeyed with patients and their loved ones down these heartbreaking paths.

The current, continuing situation with this dear senior is—sadly—not new to me. And yet, it is. Each individual brings a different aspect to this circle of life. I cannot help but think of others who have passed on. Crossed that river. Died.

I’ve been asked, point blank, what happens after we die. I do not really know. (Other than some tiny glimpses the Bible gives to us. And, most of them can be construed as allegorical.) I do know that I will be with God. And beyond that? I don’t particularly care. I’m held in God’s hand. That’s perfectly all right.

So, yes. I did do some kind things today. Some useful and helpful things, too. However, my day was (and is) colored by sadness. Grayness. Anticipatory grief, grieving the dear person I used to know. Hoping against hope that this senior will have a good day tomorrow.

Isn’t that all we can wish, for each of us? Each person. Each individual. I pray that each of us might have a good day tomorrow. And, good rest at the end of the day. God willing.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers.   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

Help, Encourage, Mention in Prayer!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, August 24, 2014

God relationship not just a Sunday event

Help, Encourage, Mention in Prayer!

Ever get mentioned by someone? In conversation, or even on the radio or television, or social media? I know how good it feels, especially when someone has good things to say about me!

That’s what I preached on, this morning. Mentioning people in prayer. The bible verses I referred to came from 1 Thessalonians 1, where the Apostle Paul gives his friends—the believers in Thessalonica—a greeting. Yes, it had all of the items in a typical greeting of a typical letter of the first century. But it also had more. An added something that made so much difference. A sincere compliment, or what some think of as a healthy dose of encouragement.

I do have the spiritual gift of encouragement. People have noticed that in me and my interactions, for a long time. It is something that just sort of happens. So when other people express encouragement, I zero in on it. And here, at the beginning of this letter to the Thessalonian church? Yup. I saw it like a flash. Paul said he always thanked God for all the believers in that city. Pretty strong language, for someone who had only been in the city for a couple of weeks! As I mentioned in my sermon, Paul and his friends developed close relationships very quickly.

That caused me to think. What about me, and my relationships with my fellow believers? Sure, I do try to be close to family, friends, to those in my congregation. But, many of my relationships just don’t have that type of immediacy, that kind of intimacy that I sometimes see in the New Testament church. I know there are many reasons for that, and only some are on my side of the street. Some are on other people’s sides of the street, and some just happen . . . those reasons are just a fact of life.

But I still feel sad and bad about many of my relationships. Sure, I could mention the fast pace of life today, and how so many people have so little time for anything else. Or, about how many people are working so hard that they have little time for anything else. Or, about how many people are unemployed, busy looking for work, and so discouraged that they have little time for anything else. (You get the picture.) And, I may say, these are all valid, legitimate reasons.

I could get discouraged, too, just contemplating this! But I have a better solution. I can just continue doing as I have intended to do, looking for a kind, helpful, encouraging thing to do each day this year. It doesn’t matter whether it’s little or big, whether it’s a private courtesy or a huge production. (Somehow, I don’t tend to do “huge productions.” But that’s just me.) Regardless, I think being on the lookout for a kind, or helpful, or encouraging thing to do each day pleases God. I pray so! And, I hope my sermon this morning was encouraging to those who listened. Please God, may it be so.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.