Monday, February 28, 2011

How Do I Find Empathy

...for a situation I've never faced?

Tomorrow evening I will be meeting with the parents and siblings of a young man who died of a heroin overdose. Tragically, it was his parents who found his body. I was with this same family on a much happier occasion, a wedding, about three years ago.

I have children and grandchildren and even though we did lose a granddaughter who died in utero, I cannot begin to understand the grief this family must be experiencing. I know that all the "why" questions don't really have answers and any feeble attempt at an answer doesn't really offer comfort.

This is the hard part of ministry--looking into the eyes of mourning parents as they struggle to accept the decisions made by their flesh and blood. I'll have to trust God to give me the words to say, because I'm not sure I have any of my own.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,  
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to search and a time to give up"


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Refrigerator Art

...another in a continuing series

Regular readers know that I love refrigerator art.  If you want to know what's important to folks, go look at the refrigerator. Ours is covered with pictures of grandchildren, their artwork, and other essentials of life.

This afternoon I met with Emily and Peter to talk about their wedding next month. They brought along their 5 year old daughter, Kaylehn. Because I always have with me paper, markers, crayons and stickers, I got Kaylehn to make me some refrigerator art.

Interesting back story. Turns out Peter and I had crossed paths a few years back when he was a barista at a Starbucks I frequent. He stood out in my mind as a kind person. One afternoon, a surprise thunderstorm with much lightning caught motorcylists (including me) and about two dozen bicyclists running for cover to the Starbucks. Soaking wet, we huddled inside while the power went off a few times. Peter and the staff there calmly went about handing out coffee and nice fluffy towels to those of us who were soaking wet. It was pretty cool today when he and Emily walked in and we recognized each other.

Life is a big circle. Peter, Emily and Kaylehn are part of my circle, and their circle grows--Kaylehn will have a little sister late this summer.

Have I mentioned that I love my job?


Monday, February 14, 2011

Best Valentine's Day


Heather and Adam, Christmas 2010

So we're sitting down to a candle light dinner. My spouse prepared home made egglant lasagna, asparagus, and even a home made chocolate pie with a nice high fluffy meringue. We had just made a V-Day toast, looking forward to more years together, and then the phone rang.

Our elder son, Adam, sounding very serious, asked both of us to get on the phone. He had some news: "You're gonna be grandparents again!".

My beautiful daughter-in-law

Anyway, due date is October 6. Heather is just fine. Aidan and Alexander are excited that they're going to be big brothers, although Aidan, in his customary analytical way, wanted to know where he was going to sleep when the baby came.

I just walked by the bathroom mirror and realized that I have a grin on my face that probably won't go away for a while.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wedding Websites

Here's a good one

I see lots of websites that brides and grooms put up to chronicle their planning in the trip to the altar. Here's a link to one that is particularly good. It will be my honor to officiate this ceremony in May at the Hotel ZaZa.

Click HERE to see Rick and Ginger's site.