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Outward/Inward Rage? Same Pain.

Robert Morwell is a friend IRL and a United Methodist activist pastor in our Conference (and he happens to be married to the sister of a very close friend of mine from like 4th grade onward, but that’s another story for another time). He wrote this yesterday, and it’s with his gracious permission that I share it with you here —

I noted in messages on Sunday and Wednesday that the loneliness, despair, and alienation which drives the suicide rate and the opioid epidemic (which kills ten times as many people as died in the Parkland Massacre, every day) is essentially the same as what drives the mass shooting phenomenon.

The difference is where they point their rage.

If it goes outward, it manifests itself in murderous violence.

If it goes inward, it expresses itself in suicide or drug addiction.

This is a spiritual and existential crisis that must be addressed.

So well said, Sir. 

Join him and the rest of us in both praying and working for good in the world for which, according to John 3:16,  Christ Jesus died.

And let’s be cautious with quick and easy answers for things that are incredibly complex. 

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A Prayer for Looking and Living Forward

As we move on through Lent, please join me in this prayer —

Grant us the stamina of the athlete,

the vision of the mystic,

and the soul of one who lives to please you,

the praiseworthy God of creation and imagination.

Amen.

— Judy Skeen, Disciplines 18, page 51

Wait, What?

Matthew Gaston writes —

A counselor friend reminds me from his practice that instead of focusing on the ‘why’ questions in a crisis, he helps his clients to focus on the ‘what’ questions:

What can I learn from this?

What can I do differently going forward

because of this experience?

‘What’ questions give energy; ‘why’ questions only steal it away.

— As Christ Jesus says in Mark 4:9, “Let those with ears to hear, listen up.”

 

Beginning with The Real End in Mind, part 5 of 5.

Families planning funerals are changing. It’s been my honor to be involved with some in this process. Here’s a song a family requested, and the lyrics I used in my homily that day —

Now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
Too late to stop now
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

— “Into the Mystic” — Van Morrison

Beginning with The Real End in Mind, part 4

Families planning funerals are changing. It’s been my honor work with them in this process. Here’s a song a family requested, and the lyrics I used in my homily that day —

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
You’re the one who saw me through it all
You were my strength when I was weak
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you
My world is a better place because of you
Because you loved me

— “Because You Loved Me” — Celine Dion

Beginning with The Real End in Mind, part 3

Families planning funerals are changing what they want to happen in those services. It’s been my honor work with some of them in this process. Here’s a song a family requested, and the lyrics I used in my homily that day —

Like a comet blazing ‘cross the evening sky, like a rainbow fading in the twinkling of an eye,
Shiny and sparkly and splendidly bright;
Here one day, gone one night, gone too soon.

— “Gone Too Soon” —  Michael Jackson

Beginning with The Real End in Mind, part 2

Families planning funerals are changing how those services go. It’s been my honor work with some of them in this process. Here’s a song a family requested, and the lyrics I used in my homily that day —

We lived and learned, life threw curves;
There was joy, there was hurt.
Remember when old ones died and new were born,
and life was changed, disassembled, rearranged.
Remember when thirty seemed so old,
now lookin’ back, it’s just a steppin’ stone.
We won’t be sad, we’ll be glad
For all the life we’ve had,
And we’ll remember when.

— “Remember When” — Alan Jackson