Thursday, November 25, 2004

A couple of weeks without blogging

Again, another break since my last blogging session. I do come back to see if there are any comments to read, but haven't felt up to writing anything, for a variety of reasons.

Part of what has been going on in life is a bit of reflection - a subject tackled in detail with my spiritual director this afternoon. If i may offer some advice to anyone who is reading this - if you don't have a spiritual director/soulfriend/advisor/mentor then i would recommend you get one - the chance to spend an hour talking about nothing but where you're at spiritually is invaluable, incomparable and just plain wonderful. Perhaps part of the joy is being able to talk things through without strings attached - without an agenda or goals but just where the Spirit leads.

Anyway reflective spirituality is part of why my blogging has been sparse (or even non-existent). Another part is that i officiated at my first ever funeral of a baby - nine years in this ordained ministry lark and this was the first very small person i have had to lead the goodbyes to. It was a profound and moving experience, and a very confusing one.

It was confusing because, like the congregation, I did not want to be there. It was moving and profound because the whole point of this meeting was to offer a life and all its potential to God before it had even a chance to begin. Also, as someone expecting another baby in about six weeks it brought to mind how risky this childbirth business is even today. I think the main reason i found it so confusing was becuase to a certain extent i had no idea what i was doing there. I mean the obvious reasons, to say goodbye, to commend and commit a soul to God, to support the bereaved (and seeing the parents was the most difficult part) were all obvious but on a deeper level i had to wonder what i was doing there.

Was i there to help find meaning in this tragedy? If that was the case then i failed miserably - i didn't and don't feel that i could offer meaning or reason to such an event. Was i there to offer comfort? Not sure i managed that either - all the 'god has a plan' platitudes fly straight out of the window in the face of this experience - besides, i don't beleive that God did have a plan to take this life away from his parents before it had the chance to begin, you're welcome to disagree, but it doesn't make sense to me and all the 'my ways are higher than your ways' talk in the universe will not help convince me of that at all. But then, i am stubborn and if God is like that then i am sure that God will teach me a lesson when the time comes, eh? And don't get me started on predestination, and God's will for our lives

nahhh i'm certainly not going there.

So it comes back to the why was i there? Perhaps i will never know, but i knew it was the right place to be and the right thing to do. I offered a little reflection to the mourners, but no answers. I prayed with them and for them and i handed the whole thing over to God - which in the end is what we do with life and death, hand it to the God who is big enough to contain it all - the anger, the grief, the pain, the sorrow, the suffering, the joy, the laughter, the hope, the peace. All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you.

Normal blogging will be resumed as soon as plausible.


1 comment:

Scog Blog said...

Alistair,

You are right - how can there me answers in the face of tragedy. If God did plan this then I'm not sure I want to be associated with Him.

You're job was to be there - not just in body but really be there - to bring Christ into the situation - to light even the smallest candle in the overwheming blackness. If you did just that then you have achieved a great deal.

Those parents needed something beautiful to remember, that's all you or anyone could offer at that time.

Keep kicking the darkness until it bleeds light.