~*GOD*day, to whomever surfs on in~
On my last post I’d shared about taking up my old habit. For those of you just surfing in, it wasn’t a bad habit, it’s a GOD-thing. I’m getting in my daily walking, walking in a safe place, the cemetery. Now, if you’ve read that days blog you’ll know it’s not a quirky place to go for a walk, it’s a safe, beautiful, so to speak, park.
Today, I went walking earlier than usual; which really has nothing to do with this post, but I thought I’d let you know my due diligence that I’ve put forth in this re-habit. So I set out, phone on 88.1 The JOY-fm and ready, said go. I get up near the cemetery entrance, near the offices. How do I know this you ask. Well, I’ll share another little inconsequential note, I use to work for the funeral home next to the cemetery. Yep, me! I got hired basically as an assistant to the assistant, sort of customer service, answer the phones, gopher girl. I got the job just a few months after my husband died. Quite honestly, I sure wish I’d kept that job. Truly I know I’d have been good at it, which they already knew, sort of like Publix knows with my great customer service self. I left for reasons I won’t go into, but I wish I’d been able to handle all that I saw and heard because I loved being able to reach out and comfort, and help people at a time I believe they really did need hope and healing. I have to admit, the leaving was all on me =( Any-who… I get into the cemetery and turn the corner and lo and behold some gang had graffitied the walk-way. I’m sure they did it during the late night or wee morning hours. How do I know it was a gang? You get use to seeing their silly symbols and lack of education, not to offend, but seriously, spelling is never one of their forte’s, not really even art either, cause they all do the same squiggly looking crazy big lettering or colors. For a group of people wanting a lot of original, being themselves, going their own way sort of people, they don’t really, do they?
Okay, so I keep getting side-tracked here, which is pretty much how I roll in life. As if you who, if anyone, read here, don’t know this already. =) Thank you for your patience, if there indeed is anyone who comes on in and reads what I share.
After seeing the graffiti, I think how sad it is that in a place where people have been laid to rest; mostly for the living, because quite honestly, nobody is truly home here, this group thought they needed to leave their mark. A silly one, but it apparently was so important for them to mark this territory, like some sort of animal.
I think it’s sad, but then I think again. It’s really not just sad. It’s sort of appropriate. This is after all is said, and all is done, a place of death, loss, and sadness. People who have been laid to rest here, some have truly found rest, and some because of choices they made, found something so not like the “rest ye merry gentleman” that we sing about this season. This group knows of nothing about real life, knows nothing of hope, or future, or life everlasting. They know them, now, and something of which they’ve conjured up to be equated to a family. All untruths.
I walk further along and what else on this early morning walk do I see? A grave that has been left uncovered. Oh yeah, true story. This is about half-way through my walk as I get a wee bit closer to where my niece Lisa, is also buried. She died after being given a shot in her neck that apparently hit the her spinal cord, killing her. A bit further also buried is my former neighbor Kevin. Kevin took his life. Yes, it is so very sad, as it has left sadness in the hearts of his family, and many who love him. For whatever it’s worth, he was worth so much more than his mind could comprehend it was, or living is. No blame, just such sadness. To those who quickly think in their heads: How pathetic, how uncaring someone is who takes their life, think again. Because it could be that very attitude in life, that leaves others feeling less than. We are after all suppose to bring His Spirit, not be the people who break the spirit. Sad and pathetic are those that do. Yet life for both is still going on, the haters, the hated, and GOD wonders where are those that bring Life? Where oh where, people in pews are often more dead out in the world, then that of all that I’m surrounded by in the cemetery.
Now, as if this morning walk is not filled with enough visual aids, and my mind of words whirling with thoughts, there is yet still more to come. But I’ll save that for the end of this. I first want to share something I learned from the morning show on the JOY-fm.
I’ll shorten the story, but Carmen (radio personality) was sharing about how she and her husband had decided not to put up a tree, but at the last minute, decided to put up a pre-lite tree that they owned. It’s late in the evening and of course someone who has to be at work at o-dark-early-early, this is a late night task to behold. After taking the tree out of storage, and assembling, they quickly discover, as we’ve all have, only 2/3 of the lights work. The top and the bottom, but none in the middle of the tree. So what do they decide. Of course just hook up some lights they have in storage for decorating and for a real tree. Carmen shared that she went into the kitchen, when she hears her husband sound frustrated. She walks out to see what is the matter, to find that the idea of adding extra lights, apparently is not pre-lite tree approved, because adding them, caused the whole tree to go out. Oops! Isn’t that just the way it goes?
How often a choice we are about to choose, seems like a bright idea. We decide without really reading the instructions, and we think in an instant (because we live in an instant gratification world, this is surely the best way to go, to handle a problem, to deal with life. All to find out we should have read the instructions. For one day the lights go out completely and we get frustrated, we wonder why, when we are the ones who fail to read, what my husband calls “destructions”, for he is a man who doesn’t like to read instructions. He however does know the Lord and the Bible, head and heart.
Thus the cemetery is a perfect place for thinking upon life choices. This season especially when, as I shared this morning with a cashier, if it wasn’t for CHRIST, we’d just be saying have a merry mas. Now if that doesn’t sound stupid (yes I said the “S” word”), I don’t know what does. My first time teaching about CHRISTmas at a job I loved, with a group of children, I talked about how we should never say “Cris” it’s CHRIST! It’s called CHRISTmas, because of GOD and His love. It’s like the first GOD-ordained Valentine ever sent to the world, it has come in the form of Jesus. However as the world has turned down to up, and up to down, we’ve drowned out the CHRIST of CHRISTmas, and all for the sake of not wanting to be offending someone. Yet the very “Someone-GOD”, who in the Beginning was, is being pushed aside all so that we can be not offended. And I could go on in sharing how we as CHRISTians get all bothered about how you can’t say Christmas, because it offends, us? Really??? We however don’t give a whole lot of thought to offending GOD, and often in our daily ho-hum lives. We don’t perk up to the offense, until it’s personal to us. This is not the order of things in the Instruction Book (The Bible). How many times can one after all pray, “Father GOD I am so heartly sorry for having offended Thee.”? Then go back and use His name in vain, or use some other limited “F” oriented adjective. Seriously, there are a bazillion words we could express, but the vocabulary of television, the work place, etc. is apparently limited to the use of just a few choice words. Yes, I am offended by the fact that you could never take the name of someone else and their GOD, in such a way, because you would offend, but take GOD-the GOD-the ONLY GOD, of the Bible, and well, that’s fair game for everyone. I’m just say’n! I’m saying it because this is the lie of the “destructions”. Of course all the unreal gods of the world don’t bother him, just the real de-leo. That should say something to us all. Why would he bother with all the unreal, when he’s only frightened, intimidated, and knows his fate with GOD.
The Bible, GOD’s Book of instructions, you know, those B-basic I-instructions B-before L-leaving E-earth, are for a purpose. Yet we’ve pushed the Bible aside for the next new man-made author. Why not after all, we took the Bible out of school, we took prayer out of school, we took GOD out of the equation and so what was all about Up, and Heaven, has now gone to Hell in a hand basket. We are though, as I often hear at work, or in the world, ready and willing to use GOD’s name in vain. Even those who believe they can just wash that way with a visit to a box, where they say they are heartly sorry for having offending Thee. How often by the by, is one allowed to say sorry and continue on in behavior unbecoming of a CHRISTian? I don’t know, but I do know it’s personal, between Jesus and the person. It’s personal between the person and GOD, because even though people might not believe in Him, He believes in people. He just would like them to believe in His Son as well.
So I’m going to end this post with another story shared. As I ended my walk, and yes, all this is a true story. I’m leaving the cemetery, at the same entrance I’d walked in at, where the so called art work of graffiti was, they share on the morning cruise yet again a story from another radio personality, Dave, that does the morning cruise as well. It’s a whole♥ed morning of Carmen, Dave and Bill. What it was, was the anniversary of Dave having heard his father had died. It was also Carmen’s mom’s (I think) birthday. They talked about how news like that, death, sends people reeling. I know, right? Ironic as that seems, it was such a GOD-incidental moment. The entering into the cemetery with graffiti, death, and leaving with the sharing of how Carmen shared:
1 Thessalonians 4:
13-14And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
Don’t you just love this? It’s the season of GOD giving us the gift that fits every single person. The season of Life, which also sadly involves, death. Loss, grief, pain, all sorts of life experiences that make us or break us. GOD has put us together to be made fit for Heaven.
My hope, my joy, even my trials, are nothing, as I shared at work yesterday. I could possibly not handle all that is happening in my life without knowing Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Transparently feeling, sort of like I imagine a lot of people feel these days, being worth less, you experience how people treat you as being worthless. And no, for all you who say, “You just aren’t trying.” Let me just tell you, it’s a tough time for a lot of folks, and if you really and truly want to do good, don’t just mumble off a few words, and then flaunt your all togetherness, in the face of folks. It’s unkind, it’s not nice, and you and the judging of all of us losing our homes, or lack of connecting to us, makes us feel homeless long before it all actually unfolds. Please also, don’t mumble Romans 8:28 in the face of anyone having difficulties. It’s not a wand, and that verse, just might be something, if GOD pops it into your head, for you to take action. GOD’s Word is for you too!!!
Look, look around the world. Look around the very changing neighborhoods. Look around, the world has turned from the melting pot, into a pot of get rich quick off the discomfort of others. It’s become a country where we believe life is about making money, a lot of it, off of someone else and their tough time. That’s the new America, where United we Stand is more like Divided we Fall. In each moment of despair Hope rings out this joyful sound, a Word in the world, where words, like mine here, are just floating away in a worlds sea of words. GOD’s Word and people however, are Eternal. People if they make the choice to choose LIFE.
I’m grateful for the walk this morning. GOD-incidental GOD times with GOD’s people who shared, cared, made me laugh, and made me take a hard look again at a reminder of losing people is really all that it all boils down to. One way or another we are going to live in Heaven or Hell. Instructions came from GOD in His Word, but they also came with His hope that we’d bring a lasting fruitfulness in our living with them to the people around us.
I could not have orchestrated a morning walk that was in a cemetery, and be listening to a radio program discussing Life, death, and Life Everlasting. This was all just a GOD-incidental day in the park, walking with GOD.
Until all have heard and receive His gift of love,