Life and Death…And What Is In The Middle…
We lost another loved one in our family this week. Thanksgiving is tomorrow. My mind is not on turkey and dressing, my mind is not even on the best sweet potato casserole ever made that my sister brings every year or the nanner puddin’ my niece has become famous for or trying to make my dressing taste as good as Mama Bess’ like I do every year. My mind is on the sorrow and pain that comes from that empty chair that will be at a table tomorrow. So I guess my mind is on what Thanksgiving is all about…each other.
I come from a HUGE family, I mean when God said “be fruitful and multiply” we took that stuff very serious. I love my big family. All the uncles and aunts and cousins and second cousins and third cousins twice removed (whatever the heck that means). All I know is that we are all very close and I would not change a thing. Most of us grew up in the same community and even though many have moved away, we remain very close. Every place I have worked over the years has said, “Girl, you have more funerals than anyone we know.” And it is true. The advantage to having a big family is there is ALWAYS someone there for you when you need them. The disadvantage is you have more wonderful people that you will eventually lose one day. And it never gets any easier.
Whether we lose one of our beloved matriarchs or patriarchs who lived to be 90 or the sudden death of a young person, there is a void, an emptiness that somehow we fill later with good memories, laughter and peace. But today, I am sad. Today I don’t understand and I want to be a little mad and I want to cry and maybe scream. Today I want to question “why?” Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do children have to hurt? Why do we not know what to say or what to do that might have changed things? I want to ask all the questions and no one judge me or say I don’t have enough faith. I don’t even want all the answers I just want to know it is okay for me to ask “WHY?” Mama Bess always said she would not worship a God that would not let her ask questions and she certainly wouldn’t teach her child to love a God that had an ego so big he couldn’t be ask questions. She said we can bring anything before him …even our questions, even our doubts. He knows our hearts and he already knows we don’t understand. It is almost an insult to think we can hide our hurt and disappointment from an omnipotent God.
So I will come right out and say it. I am hurt and I am disappointed and I wish I understood it all. I may never understand everything in this life, but I find comfort in the fact I am not afraid to ask the questions. That I feel secure to say, “Dear God…we are all hurting and we don’t understand and we are asking for a peace in our hearts to accept what is and not dwell on what could have been.”
Words lack any power to help anyone’s pain but oh how I wish they did. I would write and talk all the sorrow away. For now all I can do is keep the faith that was instilled in me in as a young child. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrew 11:1
We are all born and one day ..we will all die and all that will matter is what we did in the middle. And that is happening now..right now as I type these words and as you read these words. We all have the power to write our own story and determine how that story ends. God be with all those who are struggling today with questions and loss and may we all learn to control our reactions to each chapter in the book of our life. When the time comes...may we all be able to say.."I made the middle count."
Happy Thanksgiving, peace, love and comfort to everyone!