In the midst of death, there is life.
I have been debating about writing a blog for some time. There are a lot of them out there. Many of them are quite good, and so I wonder if folks really need to hear one more voice among the cacophony of other voices? I have been encouraged to do this, in part, from parishioners responding to my other, recent writing and public statements about issues facing the Anglican Communion. I have written mainly for a St. Andrew’s audience, and some suggest that I now move beyond our congregation to a wider audience.
At a clergy meeting I attended several years ago Rob Wright, now bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, shared his ambivalence about writing for a blog, but then concluded it was part of the prophetic calling. His words went something like this: at the end of the day, after listening to all the other voices out there, all the voices from television to other media, the people of God want to hear a voice from the Church.
This is a small part in adding a voice.
In the past month I have presided at, preached for, or planned four funerals. Death has been a companion, one I knew intimately when sitting at bedsides as a hospice chaplain, all of this long before becoming a priest. Death doesn’t scare me in any particular way, possibly, until I face it on my own. These are something like the words from Woody Allen: “death doesn’t really worry me that much, I’m not frightened about it… I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
How does one compare the energy and time of writing a blog to funerals, to spending time with grieving widows and family members? You don’t. There is no comparison. You see, I argued with myself that blogs were less important than life and death, so I should just spend more time doing funerals and sitting with the grieving, and just forget all this writing business.
Then I remembered those honest, wonderful words from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, said at graveside: “In the midst of life there is death.” We know this. We don’t need reminders. I believe the corollary is true: in the midst of death, there is life.
We live in the midst of death; we keep writing, we keep loving, we keep living, we keep working, we keep doing all the things that mean life and which can bring life to ourselves and for others. So, I will keep writing.
Parishioners have asked that I now be more public about where I am with all the things going on in the world around us. This is a start. I hope you will be part of this journey. I hope you will find something helpful in your journey with God and this journey we share with each other.