I have found this to be true, whenever you get quite discouraged or worried or overly concerned seek out a Memorial Service to attend. Try to pick out one for someone who made a difference in the world wherever they went.
I have just attended two services for 2 great souls who passed through my life made change happen for the better. My Aunt made each person she was with feel valued and important, she had a special joy in living and in sharing the arts and beauty with everyone she encountered. She loved what she chose to do in life and she loved the work she had to do in her life. We were inspired to incorporate her gracious values into our daily lives and make a renewed effort to encourage all who we encountered in our living.
My Neighbor Dr. Bob died on Valentine’s Day. The family wanted to pick a date when everyone could gather – so the service was just this past Friday. Dr. Bob was a funny guy – not quite standup comedian, but because he loved a gentle tease and a practical idea. He was a General Practice Physician and he took the word “practice” to a new art form. He was always practicing to give his best and be his best at his art. He was an inspiring listener and teacher and oh how he could promote one to their best effort. He was a loyal friend and he just radiated love for his children, grandchildren and the children in the neighborhood. He loved movies – especially westerns, and corn on the cob (he was born in Indiana) and having cob tossing parties from the deck. My children raced to rake the leaves in his yard, bake cookies and take a plate full over, and when he fell cleaning roof gutters and broke both his legs, they delivered fresh DVD’s to his door daily. He built our hospital into a fine institution and always took a peanut butter sandwich with him wherever he went.
Both of these fine people “let go” of life, they chose not to have hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical care heaped upon them, when so many people who were suffering could not get the care they needed. They gave gifts to others as their last moments of living and embraced dying.
Our shores were touched by the tsunami waves from the massive earthquake in Japan. We were moved by the pictures of devastation being sent to us and organized and phoned and began the process of support for the victims and the rebuilding. I scurried around the internet to see if those living on boats in the path were safe and okay and I called my friends in Hawaii to check with them. The personal were safe and sound. We prayed for and blessed the rescue workers and then said, “What can I do?”
I lost heart and was discouraged by the doomsday criers; witnessed the fear promoters ramping up their stylish ways. Actually, I felt exhausted and alone.
I took the puppy for a walk and I forced my eyes to notice the pink camellia in bloom, the many crocuses, the pink caste to the plum trees and the hours and hours of pruning work going on in my neighbor’s yards. Everyone here believes Spring is coming, and that energy is bursting forth. They are planning on it as a matter of fact and taking steps to embrace it. All this rain is cleaning the air, all this wind is pushing us along, all this anticipation is creating belief.
I went to a birthday party and there I heard other folks sharing similar concerns and figuring out ways they could participate and share their beliefs too. 2 guests were losing their jobs and health insurance, one was job hunting. Those gathered talked about how to share with their children, how to create open dialogue, and create patterns of change that would work for their new grandchildren too. Each person was celebrating that birthday by challenging themselves to find an action that used their gifts – we laughed and felt hopeful.
This morning I read The Comma, a local blog with this story about a minister shearing her sheep: Two flocks and a fleecing
I thought the following quote was a profound metaphor for my thinking
“And my own observation, related to the ram: “If a sheep doesn’t give up its wool, eventually the wool will kill it.” (Sheep that have been bred for centuries to produce wool are not like sheep in the wild. Wool sheep must be sheared every year, or the weight of the wool will eventually cripple, then incapacitate, and then kill them. And if you skip even just one year, the wool you get is heavy and dirty and completely useless.)”
If I do not remove the wool from my eyes, I cannot see the hope and the process beginning a new. It will eventually kill me and my spirit – because I need to find the gifts and spring forward. There is always something budding forth – but I need to see with fresh vision to find hope.
What gift of yours do you use to refresh your hopes and dreams?
People are Often Unreasonable
The Work of Everyday
We Have Met The Enemy
The Wisdom to Know the Difference
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