I think these words just about sum up who most of us are. Yet we are all unique. Maybe that is what makes meeting new people so interesting. We are never quite the same as we come across in these blogs. In real life the bloggers I have met have almost always turned out to be extraordinary folks.
Meeting the Ertle’s this week has been a real treat. Down to earth, easy to be around, kindred in God’s family that we would never have met if it weren’t for blogging.
Tonight I went for a ride and stopped by Sharon’s (my stepmother). This morning during the service I noticed her wiping her eyes during the offertory – There is a Balm in Gilead. It has been a long time since I just went over to her place to visit.
Grief is an interesting phenomenon. Another person’s grief brings memories of other griefs to the emotional surface. Maybe that is part of working through it. It gets easier and the pain is less acute but it bubbles up sometimes at unexpected times. Maybe it is part of the way we share in other’s sorrows too – we know what the feelings are from first hand experience.
The Ngbaka people have a custom. They “sit on deaths”. In other words, they simply come and sit to be with the grieving family. It has certain drawbacks like the expectations to provide for these “sitting” guests which is pretty hard on the economy within that family. But the idea of just being present – sitting with the suffering family to be with them and to express your solidarity with them is good. When this happened at my mother’s death, I did not understand the custom – we had arrived in the Congo only days before. When the church leaders and friends came to sit with us at the time of Leo’s mother’s death years later, I could appreciate their coming, sitting, praying. It didn’t matter that they didn’t know her, they were well acquainted with suffering and understood ours.
Just before I arrived at Sharon’s, my sister Faith called. She was only about 45 minutes away so I waited to see her. She had just dropped off my niece at camp where she will be a counselor for awhile. And as many of my family, she will be victim to my ministrations on Tuesday. But tomorrow morning we are going for breakfast and a long talk.