Friday, August 9, 2013

A Week Together

A friend’s funeral was held today.  A friend who was old enough to have lived a full life, but still too young to be taken by cancer.  With boys in tow and appointments to make I couldn’t attend the funeral, but I’ve been thinking about her today.  She was always a welcoming face at church, and I was touched by the way she stayed on top of news about my family.  She had the patience and wisdom to know how to deal with me through Christian education meetings.  I looked up to her.  I’ll miss her.

I heard the news in church last Sunday.  And just as I felt the sting of the news pass through my heart and come out in a sigh—well, just then Max decided to spit up and blow a raspberry right at the same time.

That morning Max and I were sitting with two friends.  A grade-schooler, related to none of us, decided 10 minutes into the service to move over and sit with us so that she could make faces at Max.  We were a mismatched pew.

But there we were, giggling at Max’s mess while trying to make note of the visitation and funeral times.  And trying to process the news of our friend’s death.  There’s healing in that spit-soaked rag, it seems.

This week another friend in our congregation had a baby, and the moms from church are pulling together a schedule to bring her family meals.  I’m watching her post pictures on Facebook, and getting excited to watch our kiddos grow up together.  And I’m already getting nostalgic remembering those newborn days, just six months ago.

In the coming week a couple at our church will be getting married.  They’ve been a committed couple since 1985.  They’ve raised a daughter.  They’re traveling to New York to make it official.  It’s a shame that they can’t get married here in Indiana, but it is still a joy to hear of their celebration.

Age and sickness and death, new life and cute babies, kids growing in community, weddings and solid commitments.  Friends surrounding each other, trying to figure out our way through it all, joining in prayer.  This is our church.  The bad stuff hits hard, but it hits us together, and we’ll grieve and remember together.  And when we share the good stuff, we keep the faith that there will be enough joy to go around.

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