Monday, July 23, 2007

Grief

I've been holding off on writing about this for a few days, but I need to get it out to my friends in the blog-o-sphere. My new boss/pastor died very unexpectedly last Thursday. Our congregation is shocked, wracked with questions, and uncertain of the future. Throughout this tragedy, however, we have been blessed with prayers, concerns, offers of help from local pastors & congregations, and the steadfast comfort of the Holy Spirit. Please pray for us as we grieve and please pray for our pastor's family (wife Grace and children Joy and Joseph). Thank you.

Another blessing in all of this is hospitality. Pastor's wife, children, and family all live out of state and do not speak fluent English. Our church's leadership and congregation has worked very hard to accommodate and comfort them in every possible way. In addition, our church is in the middle of an extensive rehab project with rooms half-painted, no furniture, old carpet, etc. Knowing that we couldn't pull these rooms together in time for the visitation and funeral, we have had to be "creative" in seeking ways to make these rooms as hospitable as possible. Fortunately, many in the congregation have brought in many flowers from their gardens, we prepared the tables to serve the family dinners with fine linens and REAL place settings (not paper plates). I know this seems a trifle amidst all the other things, but I hope that the family feels our love for them through these small touches.

"It is only when I share life’s experiences with others that I can enjoy them or endure them to the greatest advantage. You see, having a relationship calls for being in fellowship with others, and that cannot be done very easily at arm’s length. It implies getting in touch, feeling the hurts, being an instrument of encouragement and healing. Fences must come down. Masks need to come off. Welcome signs need to be hung outside the door. Keys to the locks in our lives must be duplicated and distributed. Bridges need to be lowered that allow others to cross the moat and then share our joys and our sorrows." ~ Dropping Your Guard by Chuck Swindoll

Reach out to someone today.

3 comments:

karl said...

i'm sorry for you and your congregations loss.

vintagechica said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I will be keeping you all in our prayers. Much love friend.

Sandy said...

Wow, powerful!
I've shared Chuck's paragraph on my site, too.
Reaching out is so important in life. Thank you for sharing.
Sandy