Sunday, May 09, 2004

The most difficult day of the year...

It has been a half-dozen Mother's Days now since Mom passed.
Mother's Days are still hard.

We took her retirement money and set up a Memorial Scholarship and we are always going through the applications this time of year.

I was not really dreading this morning's church service, but got much more out of it than I had hoped.

First, I was moved to tears by a mother-daughter duet by friends that we have known ever since Megan first started in first grade at Hazel Grove Elementary School.

Jim, as always, mixes a generous portion of humor into his message. This Sunday he featured
Amy Borkowsky - New York advertising executive turned stand-up comic. (How's THAT for a career track?) Here are a few clips:

Hear Messages from Amy's Answering Machine

listen "Motor Vehicles"

listen "Red Robe"

listen "Storm Warning"

listen "Crepe Soles"

listen "Happy Birthday"

I suppose my heart had been prepared, as two of the devotionals this week had touched me. One was about another family that had lost their Mother suddenly. Another told the story of his Mother's release from a body wracked with pain. And this one was twice-apropos, as his Mother had related a story virtually identical to one my Aunt experienced. My Aunt, the wife of a Southern Baptist Minister and the farthest thing from a New-Ager as you can get on any known scale. Both women told of a place of untold love and of not wanting to return to this world. Random synaptic firing of a oxygen starved brain? Empiricists would have us believe this. I have struggled with my faith. I have moved from the theological descendants of Calvin to the second purification of the Church of England. A small c catholic, imagine that...

Ultimately, the A-Theist position is such a sad, hopeless proposition that I have turned away from it. The medieval concept of what lie beyond the shoreline in the vastness or the great oceans was child's play in comparison. It is a bottomless pit. An edge beyond the world of nothingness.

And so I choose to believe otherwise. And I search for evidence, even anecdotal in nature to confirm this hope.

This is faith.

Another thing we did was put up a computerized sign in the front of Mom's church. Ever faithful, it cycles through Time/Date, messages of church happenings and affirmations. And that only seems fitting, as that's what Mom did when she was here. In her many roles as Daughter/Sister, Wife/Mother, friend and most of all Teacher, mother touched so many lives in the time she was here. And like Jim pointed out in his sermon, we all need to pay attention to what mom said and did. And in that way the sign reminds me so much of mom.

Make sure everything is on schedule, impart some interesting info. and always have a word of encouragement...

As I drive by, it is a reminder to me that she is always still with me. In fact all of the women in my life that have passed on are embodied in that symbol. That 'sign'.

And that also, is faith.

Jim put up a slide of La Cappella Sistina, Michelangelo's masterpiece.

He made note that it is God who stretches, working to reach out to man.

Then there was a closer examination of the hands.
If you look closely, God is right there, straining to reach us.

We only have to extend our fingers to touch him...


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