Four Weddings or a Funeral?

I might seem a little morbid or strange, but if were given the choice, (assuming the food was great at both) I’d rather go to a funeral than a wedding, any day. A service that’s dedicated to remembering & honoring someone loved has a lot more potential impact than a service dedicated to uniting two people in marriage (which stats say, over half don’t make it anyway, Christian or not). You rarely drive away from a memorial service without really considering your own life…without reevaluating…without being reminded of how little time we have on this earth, and with our loved ones. I was reminded by my friend, Marlena, that even our time here with our spouse is temporary. We may think or act like we’ll be with them forever, even in heaven, but the Bible’s clear there is no marriage in heaven. Our lives are vapors. As Master Oogway said in the classic, Kung Fu Panda, “Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.” 

Our children or “soul-mate” may be taken away from us.  And what would we have left? Will we find comfort in happy hour? Or count seconds until we’re able to sleep every night? Will we revel in the peace that at least we still have equity in our big homes or seat warmers in our lexus (is the plurrel of that Lexi)? Will I say, “at least there will always be my 401K” or even “my friends”?

What I’m left with in a funeral’s last moments, are thoughts of what I’m left in the last moments of life…that when all is said & done, bought, drunk & eaten, the only thing left, worth anything on this earth, is actually eternal. Jesus & His Word.

Tomorrow, my friend Rachel is singing & playing the guitar (“When the Tears Fall” by Tim Hughes) @ her uncle’s memorial service.  He died a tragic, unexpected death. Please pray for the entire Strom family today & tomorrow, especially her father, as his brother’s service is prepared and carried out…pray for peace & comfort & that every life represented in that place would be impacted for the glory of God.

Thank you so much.

shattered glass

what happens when your world, as peaceful & good as you think it is, falls apart almost suddenly? what do you do when you hear the news – the kind of news that not just changes your year, but your entire life? you can try to move on, do your best to reconcile your feelings of disappointment & confusion. you may find it easier, in the moment, to skirt around the issue or even ignore it. have you ever had a child stand 2 inches from your face, staring at you? it seems impossible to not look back. ignoring never works. looking back is ok until we can say “i’m doing everything i can do to let God work.” looking back as a means of facing your own short-comings with humility & honesty so that you can learn from them, is different than “dwelling in the past”. looking back for short periods with a heart of thankfulness and self-examination is crucial. remembering triggers, thought patterns, habits & lures can be hugely instrumental in keeping us from making poor choices in the future.

and yet, even when we believe it’s been pretty well worked out, reminders have their way, don’t they.

my son helps with a few things around the house like dust-busting the kitchen floor, cleaning, and emptying the dishwasher. tuesday he was moving all the cups to the counter and trying a shortcut by stacking them. just as i saw him stack two glasses, i chimed in, “woah, there! you shouldn’t stack glasses!” quickly, he pulled the top one out of the other. “…they could br…” and it shattered. thin shards flickered all across the floor.

5 years. pornography and a messy affair threatened to obliterate our unity as a family. oh, that’s not how long it lasted. that’s how long ago it happened. both our lives were terribly affected by the lies. there is hope!! but trust is so slow moving. even after this long… after so many boundaries and kept promises, after our marriage has seriously grown, & we are restored, i can still step on a sharp piece of broken glass. it’s few & far between, but we still struggle. we haven’t done all our learnin’ just yet.

a strange text message or email, a late poker night with work friends…they can lead to lies in my head. those bastards (the lies) can stab my sole and make it bleed ’til of course, we talk it out like grown-ups. me & my husband…and me & my God. and i’m healed again.

trust breaks. it happens with abandonment, or the death of someone very close. it happens with verbal or physical or sexual abuse or when a parent lets you down. it happens when your son looks you in the eye & lies.

but i continually find comfort in this truth: His mercies really are new every morning.

have you ever committed to building trust again after it was shattered? how long did it take to restore? do those stupid tiny pieces of broken glass ever really go away…completely?