Sunday, February 12, 2012

As I read the comments from last week there were thoughts about what it means to live a life of accompaniment as we deal with the constant of change. In one sense this is what we are called to do. All of us are called to walk with people who are both suffering and rejoicing, including ourselves. The invitation is ever-present as I write tonight. Sometimes when I first meet someone it is interesting to speculate about their life. Thoughts about what makes people tick are always interesting to me (likely to the point that I sometimes spend so much time considering these things that I miss the opportunity to know someone, and surely to let them  really know me).

Everybody has a story and that story, or those stories, shape us into the wonders that we become in living. Last night I when it was announced that Whitney Houston died the web was crazed with commentaries and speculations about her story. People were all over the the place in tributes on YouTube and facebook, and many people continued (including myself) to blame her relationship with Bobby Brown as the beginning of Whitney's end. It's as if I knew her personally and have insight into what it was like to live her life. I am sad for the loss of this woman who sang her life into my heart and brought beauty, even in her tragic moments. And yet I rejoice in the thought that she is now home. I am also aware tonight of the woman who is living in Naco, Sonora with frail health as she struggles for life. And, the Capuchin Franciscan that I know who has been given notice that his life is nearing it's end. I spoke with him two weeks ago and his words filled my heart with joy. Unbelievable, and yet he is facing his days through the lens of the living, not one who is dying. I grieve and rejoice as the ebb and flow continue to create the rhythm of loss and gain.

Right now we are looking at the rhythm of life and I may be focusing on the moments of loss (that is where my heart is tonight), yet today I met this spirited child at Liturgy who was a live wire ready to plug in. She entered the community of worship with exuberance as she announced who she was to pretty much everyone. I watched as she looked to my friend, who was next to her, for guidance in finding hymns and such. She actually spent some time just staring at her (like a cat fixed on that invisible spot on the wall). She was all about giving people hugs during the kiss of peace and just wanted to soak it all in. My heart is also filled with the joy that this child received and spread as we shared in these sacred moments. Rather than allow myself to get all analytical on his little girl I attempted to experience her just as she was (not a successful move but I tried). As I close this out I wonder if I realize that near or far, recognized or not, known or unknown, we are here for one another? Even when not turned on we live in the rhythm of life that is unstoppable and draws all sentient beings together. Part of the good news is we are invited to take responsibility for this experience any way we can. Okay, that is enough blah from here. Have a great week!


  1. Your phrase about "he is facing his days through the lens of the living, not one who is dying" will stay with me today. Be blessed and thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh Saturday, many of the community of Naco, Sonora pushed me to look even more at the reality of compassion. They reached out to the woman, Tina, dying of cancer. Her family and friends sponsored a fund raiser to take care of some of the expenses of pain medication and the cancer treatment drug necessary to sustain life. She wants to live for her family and friends; she does have a radiant smile that touches so many including the doctor who treats her. These wonderful people change and love and love and change life along the border. There is a wall that closes off so much, but one thing I know it cannot stop the flow of compassion and love that touches hearts in so many places. It takes a village to teach a lesson and Naco, Sonora moves me to places I never dreamed of within my heart and within the community. They are helping me "face the lens of living, not one of dying". And all I can be is a wow. Thank you God for changing me and the change happens because the heart of many people is good.