Sunday, September 16, 2012

Little Messages

My beliefs about what we are promised in terms of a life after death are complicated, but, I believe, soundly based in scripture. I won't go into the fine points in this forum. Suffice it to say that I don't believe my Mama, or any of the other people I love who have died are sitting around in some unseen dimension right this minute.

The common language of grief we mostly use, though, gives me comfort despite its beautifully fanciful ideas. I like to imagine Mama "up there" somewhere, looking over us, sending us messages, watching out for us. I don't deny there are days when I wish I believed that's how this works.

What I do believe is that the promise of a life eternal and triumphant is true. I just don't believe it happens the way we talk about it.

That said, in many ways I have felt Mama's presence more acutely on a near day-to-day basis since she died. I believe that the tremendous love she had for us so infused our hearts and minds that it is the truest truth that she will never be gone from us, except in body. Maybe it's God's grace that opens our ears and eyes to that love so completely that it feels palpable. Tangible. Real.

What I believe or don't, what I wish were true but doubt, those things don't keep me from having wonderful Mama moments. One happened today on my long walk in the park.

I need to backtrack for a minute so that little preface will actually have a point and let you know that I am fairly well obsessed with Spotify. It has replaced every online game I ever played when I have nothing else to do or so much else to do that I don't want to get started. I cough up the premium fee every month so I can save playlists to my iPhone to take with me on my walks. ($10 a month to invest in my mental health is peanuts. I even gave up manicures to make room in my budget for this.)

Yesterday I was playing with the playlists again. I do random searches, listen to about 10 seconds of a piece of music and plop it over to a list. Mostly this is music from musicians or groups I've never heard of. I've found some rotten stuff this way, but I've found some real treasure, too. The point of it for me is in the discovery.  Not listening to something all the way through makes it fresh to my ears while I'm walking -- when I can give it my nearly undivided listening attention.

While I was doing my search I was looking at the calendar next to my computer. We are fixing to hit a rough patch for our hearts, as we can't help but be reminded of all the steps that brought us to Mama's passing, and I'm trying to find ways to let that find expression in ways that honor who she was, and who she wanted us to be.

My Mama was my biggest cheerleader. No matter what silly thing I accomplished, or tried to accomplish, she was my encourager. She made everything better when everything was going to hell in a handbasket. She cajoled. She raised an eyebrow. She yanked me up. She noticed me.

I had begun to worry that I was going to slip into a real fine funk in the coming days, and so I was deliberately trying to find upbeat things to listen to. I listened to no more than about 15 seconds of all the new stuff I found yesterday that felt right, plunked them onto my Sunday Morning list, and didn't give them a second thought.

And then I went to the park, turned it on, and started walking.

At about mile 5.5, when I had gotten to the top of the hill that overlooks the bridge area for the second time, this song I downloaded yesterday cued up.

Nothing about that made me change my mind about what I believe

But it reminded me, and it enfolded me, and encouraged me, and made me remember the best things. 

And I praise God, from whom all these blessings flow.


P.S. - I  just noticed the "love you J" signature on that graphic. 

P.SS. -- I am happy to live in the mysteries. 

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