Tag: loss

One of the hardest things thus far…

October 23rd, 2017 — 7:31pm

My Pastor went home to glory last week. His homegoing service was today.

This has been one of the hardest life experiences I’ve had thus far in my life and it’s so easy to fall into a spiral thinking “there’s so much more darkness ahead as well.” but, I’m going to keep on keeping on.

I have to keep reminding myself that the reason all those around me seem to be doing so well with all of this is because they’ve already had to bury fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, children. And, they all got to go through with their Pastor by their side. This is my first time dealing with death so close and I’ve no Pastor to talk me through this.

It’s just been so hard. The calls and texts of encouraging someone whose spiritual strength I’d often taken for granted. Overcoming my own anxieties to see him during hospital visits. Literally picking myself off the floor after collapsing at the news that he was being moved to hospice. Visiting him in hospice every day he was there and watching him slowly transition onto glory. Accepting the news that he was gone. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard or as much in the entirety of these 33 years I’ve walked this Earth. I’ve got my ramblings to say and these words may not make sense to many others, so perhaps this is just here for me.

Years and years ago, I was a very skeptical agnostic. I’d been baptized a Christian as a child, but had never really belonged to a church home and with very sporadic church attendance throughout my teens, very little remained of my Christian experience and understanding. In a lost moment in college, I’d attempted to find a renewed spirit within one of the churches my mother and I had visited some years earlier. I walked into that building a proverbial lost lamb, but I walked out of it no longer a Christian and certain that God, whatever form He took, was not to be found withing Christianity.

An extremely difficult period followed afterward, where I’d figuratively wandered lost within the world, but as providence would have it, God brought me to what would become my church home through the teachings of a very great man who would become my Pastor.

After so many years of absolute distrust in ministers and most Christians, my Pastor proved to be a man of the highest character. One of the things that I adored most about Pastor was that he put God first in everything that he did. Because his ministry was about Jesus and not about uplifiting himself, he wasn’t afraid to bring newer or even stronger preachers into his pulpit and he was never afraid to admit that sometimes he simply did not have all the answers. These weren’t overall concerns because he did not feel the need to put himself first, but God. He acknowledged that there was no way he would ever fully understand every single thing that the bible said, but to use a phrase he often did, “I may not know all the specifics about how electricity works, but I’m not going to sit in the dark until I do.”

He often quoted Matthew 6:3: “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” and he had this deep, mighty voice that always stressed FIRST; that we were to put God first; that God was not running for any place in our lives but first; that anything that we put before God was idolatry. These teachings allowed Pastor to become the first preacher that I ever really trusted. Above all, I trusted that he would never purposefully tell me something to lead me astray or that would go against God.

Pastor focused on bible-based teachings and rarely did all the screaming and shouting “performance” that is so often found within black churches and we used to talk about that a lot. I told him often that I never liked all the “hootin’ and hollerin'” sermons because that was all show and had more to do about uplifting the preacher than the Word. I also told him that it was part of that latent skepticism that I struggled to lose. He agreed that the shouting was often part of the show, but that sometimes that’s what people needed to ignite their spirits. He also reminded that, in reference to my skepticism, that faith and doubt could not occupy the same heart, and I remind myself of this as often as possible as I continue on my journey.

We disagreed from time to time. He wanted me to be more involved in church auxillaries and often chastized me for quitting just about everything from the choir, to the usher board, to a helping auxillary, to teaching Sunday school…I’m sure there are many other things I’ve even forgotten that I’ve quit. And, he was very right; I quit a lot of activities, arguably out of fatigue. Every once in a while, I had something to throw back at him, though. Once, he demanded that all his lady ushers had to wear skirts when they served, so I sat down and quit. Eventually, it got back to him that the reason I’d quit ushering was because the Word said that men and women were to be dressed differently to be readily identifiable as such, not that men wore pants and ladies were skirts. If I’d been trying to usher in a men’s suit, then by all means call out that behaviour, but if I wanted to serve wearing a finely cut women’s pants suit, where was the harm? Later, he agreed with me and removed this rule, but this was the type of man he was. He acknowledged if he was wrong and moved forward.

One of the things I cherish most, however, was that Pastor never hesitated to teach God’s Word. When I was teaching Sunday School, he gave me (what I later learned was a very expensive) Matthew Henry Commentary Study Bible with my name engraved on it. He’d given one to my mother as well. I think I’ve learned more about scripture and also myself from reading this commentary than anything else in life. I remember asking him how much the commentary cost because my church is sometimes just barely able to keep the lights on, but he refused to say, and refused to accept any payment. I’ve several other spiritual books Pastor has given to me in this same manner and I’ll treasure all of them always.

He didn’t just preach and give out books, though. He was a 21st century pastor. Over the years, I could always depend on texts from Pastor. Admittedly, of late, they were of the variety “Daughter…you are MIA” if I’d missed more than 2 consecutive Sundays. Mostly, though, I could text Pastor any of my questions about scripture and he always had answers for me:

Many Sundays, I would approach him after service and ask further questions about his sermon. Sometimes he would even roll his eyes and laugh when he saw me coming. He’d say, “I knew you’d be coming up here after I preached that!” He always encouraged us, though. He often said, “Don’t just take my word for it. Read the bible for yourself. When you get to glory, God isn’t going to hold you accountable for what Pastor said, but for what God said.”

What I take from this most is that I will miss him so very much. But…in the same way, all those years ago, when he waved me forward as I stepped out in the aisle to join the church, he said to me in that deep voice of his, “Come on, Daughter. I’ve been waiting for you.” I know that when I get to glory too, he’ll be there waiting with a smile again saying, “Come on, Daughter. I’ve been waiting for you.”

One of his last sermons:

1 comment » | Jesus, On Me


April 4th, 2008 — 1:22am

Every once in a while, I find myself in an anxious stupor (if that’s even possible) as I feel time ticking away from me tick by tick by tick by tick…Whoops! There goes another second.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the odd one out in a room of millions. Like being the only girl in a room full of men. Like being the short person in a standing crowd. Like being the only black person in a classroom – Oh wait! I already face that every day!

But really, sometimes I wonder if anyone else in the world looks at the fact that every second that passes is a second closer to death. I think about it…often. Far too often. Sometimes, I think about it to the point that my breath catches and I run a dozen prayers through my mind to calm my spirit to the point that I can face the world again. And, there goes another ten minutes.

The entire idea of life bothers me. Twenty-three years have come and gone for me. One day I’ll wake up and I’ll be thirty or forty or sixty or ninety or I’ll just wake up to some searing pain in my chest as my body goes into cardiac arrest and I run a dozen prayers through my mind hoping that all “bad stuff” I’ve done or said or thought can be washed away in the .0310 seconds before I take my last breath.

The Christian in me does not fear death. I know – no, I really know – that I have accepted Christ in my heart and if I were to die at this very second…there’s a pretty good chance I would go to heaven. That part doesn’t bother me, in fact, it’s the only thing that comforts me. But then come the “what-ifs.”

The what-ifs drive doldrums into depressions, they drive eccentricities into insanities, they…I don’t know if I can sit here and list all the ways the what-ifs make the world a miserable place, but every time I think about another second passing…the what-ifs plague me.

What if this is all there is? What if there is no after-life waiting me? What if when we’re gone, we’re gone? What if I’ll never see Edrith or MawMaw again? What if my own mother dies and that’s it. No more hugs or lengthy birth stories every 26th of September; no more nothing. What if I never get married and have children? What if I end up old and alone? What if death is painful? What if it starts happening to me and I’m conscious of every part of it? What if I’m in such a panic when it starts to happen, I don’t even think of prayer and my last thoughts are “Oh shit!” instead of “Oh Christ!”? What if I think back to writing this post in my last moments and think, “What an utter waste of time!”? What if…indeed.

All the what-ifs notwithstanding, time keeps on marching. Already twenty minutes have passed since the moment I wrote “Time” as the title of this. Twenty minutes gone in a life that has to end at some point. Twenty fewer minutes to wonder, to love, to think, to grow, to create, to cry, to smile, yearn, eat, sleep, breath. And, there goes another twenty.

I think this is just a reflection on procrastination. I haven’t had time all week to even practice the lesson to be able to teach the adult class on Sunday, but what has me on edge is the fact that there hasn’t even been time to procrastinate. It’s already April and the book’s not done. It’s already April and the weight isn’t down a bit. It’s already April and I still don’t feel like I’m a greater, stronger, better Christian. And, another ten minutes into April gone.

Time…keeps moving on. Heh.

Time keeps movin’ on,
Friends they turn away.
I keep movin’ on
But I never found out why
I keep pushing so hard the dream,
I keep tryin’ to make it right
Through another lonely day, whoaa.

…maybe that should be my new song for the blog. Hmm…

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Jesus, On Me

Wow, I’m weird

April 27th, 2007 — 4:54am

So, every once in a while I hit this sort of event horizon in my own psyche, and it always floors me. Tonight, I’ve been sitting here at four o’clock in the morning and three obsessions have sort of cascaded over one another. I’m simultaneously watching The X-Files, looking for Sailor Moon episodes on eBay and Amazon just to have while writing my SVU fanfiction novel. It’s amazing…

But, more importantly: I took a call tonight and the customer was this woman whose mother had died and computer had crashed, both on the same day, and she was telling me how, when in times of crises such as family loss, I should never make major purchases because one’s mind is clearly in a right state. At her mother’s funeral, people had convinced her to buy a Mac and proof that she was in a bad place was that she actually went ahead and bought one. Of course, she needed it for a business purpose and Macs are crap in generally anyway and the thing didn’t work. So, she was disputing the charges and what not, but the call stuck with me for the rest of the night. She was so clearly still trying to get herself stable after everything that had happened and I can remember her saying she wished she had someone there with her to help her through this, even her ex-husband. All I wanted to shout was, “Go to church! Find absolution through Christ!” but I didn’t say it. I didn’t even hint at it and now, I feel terrible. I rationalize this to myself, saying that I could have penalized at work because I revealing a religious preference and she could have been offended by the suggestion. All this not withstanding, I still feel terrible. I wanted to cry with her and tell her how she shouldn’t feel so bad if she went to church…but, I didn’t. I guess I can only know pray about it and hope for the best, but I still feel bad about it.

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November 22nd, 2006 — 3:31pm

We, my generation, we are Generation Y. Rather than a voiceless, aimless group, we ask the questions and demand answers. We are the first generation to grow up with computers, and one day the history books will reflect how this electronic intrusion has manipulated all of human thought. I find it ironic that I say this as I write in an online blog, but today all I ask is Why.

Why do people pass away? I know the chemical and physiological and evolutionary explanations, but these just tell me how; they never answer why. Why is that I can see one person on a Sunday afternoon, say hello to them, give them a hug, talk to them and wish them a happy, blessed week, and then seven days later learn that I will never speak to them again? Yes, she looked slightly paler than usual and she did have a bit of a limp, but I knew she was sick and just assumed that this was a part of it. Never had I imagined that I would never talk to her, attend meetings with her or hold hands during altar call ever again. There’s a part of me that still struggles to understand it. It doesn’t quite make sense in the grand scheme of things. There are so many cruel, terrible people in this world that never deserved to make it to the ages that they have, but they keep on laughing and living and being their cruel selves. Why should this Christian just slip away before another Sunday’s service?

In my heart, my only comfort at that thought was that I know she was saved and now she is at peace, but in my mind I am still confused. Who’s name did the pastor just say? No, that couldn’t possibly be her. It must have been another Kimm; someone I don’t know. Then, the realization hits and further questions are asked. Anger and wonder endures. Is this what will happen to me when I pass from this world? A mention during the announcements? But, what was I expecting the pastor to do?

I haven’t cried yet, though I do feel like the tears are just underneath my thoughtful facade. The service is Friday; she passed on Sunday. I feel almost robbed; like someone should have told me that there was a chance. It just seemed like she was sick, not fighting for her life. It’s not fair that people should die.

As a Christian, I know she’s at peace, but as a human being, this is where I struggle. I’m still in a state of disbelief and I am worried about what’s about to come. Not just the service, but those in future. There are so many more souls in my life now, so many more people I have to love. All I have is the question, how many times will have to endure this over the years? I know there’s no way to discern an exact number, but I know for certain, it is far too many.

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