JONATHAN C DOW

Six Months Closer

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 . . .

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July 01, 2021

Still...

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 . . .

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June 01, 2021

A Lesson in the Clouds

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 . . .

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May 01, 2021

Look for the Beauty

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 . . .

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August 01, 2020

It Wasn't Goodbye

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 . . .

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July 02, 2020

I'd Never Forget You - Never

I am blessed to have awesome siblings by blood and by marriage. Being the rebel who moved south 20 years ago, I missed out on the laborious tasks they all undertook as our mom transitioned from Pennsylvania to Maine, back to PA, then back to Maine, to now residing in a beautiful care facility on an oceanic waterway. Going through the . . .

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February 01, 2019

The Closure of No Closure

One recent Sunday, our pastor preached from Deuteronomy 34. Preparing us for impending pastoral change, he invited us to embrace the journey to the Promised Land knowing that God's unwavering faithfulness will carry us through the pervasive uncertainty of leadership transition. As he read the passage, my heart became snagged . . .

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July 07, 2018

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