This entry is in memory of Jean. A partner in singing, prayer, healing and life who died yesterday of Medullary Thyroid Cancer after a valiant fourteen year battle. He life exemplified one of living in the light. She will be missed.
I was driving by the same church in the same car exactly one year later. Remember, I drove by the Baptist marquee right before my daughter went to Thailand. “Where God guides, God provides?” Yes, we do remember and certainly He did. I was yelping in my car that time too about her leaving and about her being safe while she was away. Surely, you know that? Well, this time it was about something different. Or are all messages on Baptist’s marquees the same? Anyway, at least this one felt different. Really different.
“We have been left on this earth to be a witness for God’s love.” Left? Really, I do sometimes have the feeling that I have been left or at least left out. Rambling around in my spaces and places on planet earth without mooring or purpose or clear concise directions about the destination. “Choose somebody else Lord. Choose someone besides me.” This time anyway.
Hey, are the Baptists preaching reincarnation on their billboard? “Pastor Bill preaches Revival every night this week, be there or be square.” “Satan laughs every time you turn your back on God. Do you want to make Him laugh so much?” “Sunrise service Easter morning, 6am.” Typical fare for the sign outside the neighborhood fundamentalist church. So where does “We have been left on this earth” fit in? Where indeed?
Knowing that it is not about other worlds existing and our striving toward the goal of multiple lives, one can only surmise that being left on earth to witness is about living the life that Christ would desire for us. Daily. Habitually and faithfully in love.
But that’s too hard. I want to yell back at the sign in despair and fear. I want to yell at folks when they yell at me and curse those who curse me and even wish that the fleas of a thousand camels would invade their armpits when they trespass against me. Why not? It’s justified. I want to hold grudges against those who insult and bother me. Repeatedly too, both the insults and the grudges. I don’t want to live in love like Christ or Buddha or Ghandi. Truly, I don’t. Do you?
I understand where God guides, God provides because that’s on Him. That’s up to God to lead and be benevolent and kind and protective. But witnessing in the light because I was born to live on earth. Now that’s a horse of a different color as the Wizard used to say every year when they aired that show again. Remember how Dorothy cried? “Auntie Em, Auntie Em, don’t leave me here. I want to go home, Auntie Em.”
The trick that had to be pulled out of the bag was not magic, or a hot air balloon painstakingly mended over weeks of preparation. The trick as it appears in life and in the story is that since we are already home, we better pay attention and click our heels. Make sure that the pair of ruby red slippers we are wearing have just enough shine in them to get us where we are going. But where are we going? You will chorus in succession, loudly and repetitively. How can I be sure I want to go there? How can I be sure I will ever get there?
I can only answer based on my experience. You won’t always. Want to go there that is. You just plain and simply will not. Because sometimes, even many times there will be pain, suffering and discomfort. But let us remember what the Baptist were preaching on their front yard, “You have been left on earth to be a witness to God’s light and love.” Can this ever be enough? Is it sufficient for one life or for many? The simple answer is yes. It was enough for Christ and it is for us. If you live fully and give up grudges and the camel curse, you will see. Just ask Dorothy. Or just ask my friend Jean.