Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life and Death--A Week of Rememberance

Last week was one of those really weird weeks--where some really sobering things happened that remind me of the transient nature of our life on this planet.

To start off, the husband of a coworker died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack over the weekend. They had just (within the past two weeks) taken possession of the dream house they had built! He officially died on Father's Day. His memorial service was attended by hundreds of stunned mourners who celebrated a full, yet shortened life. His youngest had just graduated from college and there was so much of life ahead of him as he and his wife headed into their new home to start another chapter of life--he was clearly a hero to his family and everyone who attended the memorial service.

That was followed by the father of one of our good friends with whom we spend many
Friday nights drinking wine dying somewhat unexpectedly as well--on Father's Day. His funeral was sparsely attended this man was a hero, too--decorated with two Bronze Stars during World War II and who had fought gallantly in the Battle of the Bulge. He was laid to rest with military honors and a mournful bugle playing Taps.

Two deaths--two memorial services (both on Saturday and scheduled far enough apart so I could attend both). And of course the shock and sadness at the suddenness. Two heroes in very different periods of their lives.

Wow--it was sobering.

We started a series on the Psalms at church--and the Psalm for this week was Psalm 51--which is really pretty applicable to this weeks activity. The first 11 verses speak to me.

51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love!
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!
51:2 Wash away my wrongdoing!
Cleanse me of my sin!
51:3 For I am aware of my rebellious acts;
I am forever conscious of my sin.
51:4 Against you – you above all – I have sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
So you are just when you confront me;
you are right when you condemn me.
51:5 Look, I was guilty of sin from birth,
a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
51:6 Look, you desire integrity in the inner man;
you want me to possess wisdom.
51:7 Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
51:8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!
May the bones you crushed rejoice!
51:9 Hide your face from my sins!
Wipe away all my guilt!
51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!
51:11 Do not reject me!
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!

Create in me a pure heart, O God
Renew a right spirit with in me
Cast me not away from your presence
And take not your Holy Spirit from me
A prayer that I have learned many years ago comes from this Psalm and it really hits home during a time like this.
Don't let the sun set without telling you loved ones that you love them. And say it out loud: "I love you!" When your candle is extinguished at the end of life on this earth, it will mean so much more to those who are left behind. It is something to hold onto!

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