Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Praise: The Lord is Good

The Lord is Good
Unfold in beauty, flowers of spring,
Unto your Makers praise,
Whose breath is in the soft, south wind,
Who send the sunny days.
And let the sparkling, rippling rill
Tell, as it onward flows
Our God is great, our God is good;
His hand all good bestows. 
                                                 ~E.E. Hewitt

Friday, June 20, 2014

Taking Care

I work in a large church and have this fancy-schmancy title.  I'm the Clergy Administrator.  That is a pretentious way of saying I'm the Preacher's Secretary. I've always thought if it walked like a duck and it quacked like a duck and it lives in a pond, might as well call it a duck. But somebody decided I needed a title to give me prestige, save my self-esteem and so as not to make me feel belittled (didn't know me very well now, did they?) Clergy Administrator it is.

Among other things, I act as funeral director/hostess when we have funerals and memorial services. While I have some rather humorous tales to tell concerning such events (like the time the funeral home came by with a casket and asked me if I could 'park' Granny in a closet till the service that evening. I'm not kidding. That particular funeral home isn't in business anymore). Today, I had a glimpse of an intensely personal moment. 

I was helping a man whose wife had died. She had fought disease for years, suffering setback after setback. Her body finally gave out, as bodies do, and now she has new life in a new form. Quite frankly, I couldn't be happier for her. To be in Glory with the Redeemer, why, it flat out blows my mind! Her husband, however, is left behind to become a me instead of a we. 

He meticulously planned her service, being very careful of each thing and making sure the proceedings were as they ought to be.  Our staff was vigilant to ensure the service was what he asked for and it was just lovely. When the service was over, I escorted the family out. We stopped in the Narthex to remove the pall and replace it with the magnificent spray of yellow roses her family had provided.

As the spray was lifted and placed carefully on the casket, one yellow rose fell  and fluttered to the floor. The husband, the man who had cared for this woman so tenderly and carefully...her lover and companion and mate, stooped down. He picked up the errant yellow beauty and with great tenderness put it back in the spray.

Y'all. I was undone. Un. Done. His simple act of fixing the flower, one last act of taking care of his wife was only seen by the few of us beside him. I choked back tears at the intimate nature of the gesture I was privileged to witness. 

Taking care. Isn't that what we do in marriage? We structure our lives together in such a way that we are there for those we love best. The one we love above all others. That one. Our spouse.  The one who makes our me into we.  The person who, when we get it right, can help us make just a bit of heaven on earth.

Taking care. I saw an amazing, simple act of taking care today. One that exemplified what I seek in my marriage. That's just what we are called to do for each other.

Our widower followed the casket to the hearse and then the hearse to the cemetery. He came back to the church for lunch and has now gone home. To start his altered life.

I came back to my office to finish the work laid out for me. Much to my surprise, I had a call from the front office to inform me I had received a flower delivery.  I went down and there was an amazing, extravagant display of red roses, nestled in babies breath. The card read, "Love, Ed" and there was no reason at all for him to have sent me flowers.

Other than my husband was simply taking care. Of me. 

I hope you have someone who takes care of you. And I hope you have the joy of someone to take care of. Because I believe the taking care...that is the good stuff of life.

Who me? {flashing big, innocent eyes}Stand up in the chair to take a picture of the pretty roses?
Nah! Not me?


P.S. This was written last fall and never published.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Coming Home

{Taking HUGE breath}

I feel like I'm making a journey home. To someplace more familiar. To this home where I was quite content. Just a little spot of the worldwide web that is, for me, perhaps a bit more comfortable.

Over two years ago, I obtained what I thought was a better virtual home. More grown up.  More sophisticated. Just the spot to launch my  blogging career.  Where I would become a serious writer. {At least, in  my own mind}

And Cleverly Molli is a lovely blog layout. Beautifully decorated by a professional. I spent several months just looking at it.  I became immobilized by the thought of writing words to put in it. So it was a beautiful showcase, not a home. And while I did finally write words there, last fall I temporarily closed up shop. I didn't delete the whole thing. I simply let it go for awhile.

This blog space always felt like my favorite chair.  I wasn't afraid when I was here. I blithely wrote what was on my heart and hit publish.

What changed?

I think my expectation of what I had to write changed.  I thought (silly me) I was playing in the big leagues because now I had put some money into my blog design and domain.  What was I thinking? 

I lost sight, somehow, of the reasons I enjoy writing.  I write because there are things in my head and my heart I need to figure out. I write because I have things to say. I write to tell stories.  I write to capture memories, feelings and events. I write because I love to put words together in such an order as to convey a feeling. I write because I can't paint pictures on canvas, so I have to paint pictures with words.

I write as insurance against the day I could be unable to express my thoughts and feelings, so the people I love and care for can come back and see the word pictures I've painted for them.  I write so my grandchildren will know my heart.

And quite frankly, the pretty site and snazzy graphics don't make the writing any more polished. Or the stories any funnier or more poignant. Or my insights any wiser.

So, why am I intimidated?

I don't know.

I only know this:  I am. I am intimidated. I also know this:  I need to write. So for just a bit, I think I'll come home to this comfy place and do just that. And try to find my voice again.