Not too long ago, while sitting in the choir loft during a sermon, I followed a thought along a rabbit trail that led me to Numbers chapter 33. (Sorry, Pastor).
Titled "Stages in Israel's Journey," this passage captures Israel's rest stops on their trek out of Egypt to the Promised Land. It basically reads, "The Israelites left this city . . .
"Mentionables" in our Journey of Grief.
In the movie, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," one of the main characters makes a poignant statement that is the springboard for this entry. In his gentle, thoughtful, and intentional way of love, Mr. Rogers says to the family surrounding the bedside of a dying man, “You know, death is something many of us are uncomfortable . . .
Several months after my mom passed away, I scheduled an appointment with a dear brother who cuts my hair. It was good medicine to see him. Amidst the hustle and bustle of his salon, our conversation drifted from topic to topic carried along by his infectious joy, his tender heart, and his deep compassion.
As we continued to catch up, I . . .
Remembering the Story, Redeeming the Grief, and Reaping the Joy
One of the difficult parts of our transition from Pennsylvania to Tennessee was the reality that we would not often be able to visit the gravesite of our twin daughters. While we had the assurance that Amanda and Catherine are in heaven, we also recognized that the many undisturbed moments of graveside reflection in the serene beauty of . . .
A number of years ago, amidst a season of physical, emotional, and spiritual burnout, I was asked to minister at a funeral. "Perfect," I thought sarcastically, "A dead man ministering at a funeral." Drowning in negativity from the seemingly incessant discouragement that I had been experiencing, the inability to find a . . .
At my precious mom's funeral, one of my brothers eulogized her ability to always "look for the beauty." As he shared, memories of the hours I spent driving my mom through Maine, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee flooded my mind. Often she would point out patches of wildflowers, unique cloud formations, and patterns in sedimentary rock formations . . .
a poem in memoriam
My extraordinary mother, Joyce Cole Dow, passed away on June 20, 2020. At her funeral, I was blessed to be able to share this poem inspired by many summer vacations in Maine spent at my grandmother’s cottage. This quaint retreat is nestled along the bank of a beautiful spring-fed lake. Behind the cottage is a steep, tree-covered . . .