Laugh or Cry

I just need a little space to dump the thoughts in my head — a space where someone else might read them and assure me that I’m not alone. It’s why I like social media. Not love, but definitely like the possibility that social media holds for connecting the small moments of my life within a larger whole. Where someone else might read my words on Facebook or Twitter or even here on my blog and laugh or cry or roll their eyes with me whether or not they comment.

And I’m not sure which of these things I want to do right now: laugh, cry or roll my eyes. Because it’s one of those weeks where I just feel heavy. Everything feels so heavy.

I just came from a visit with a dear church member. She used to volunteer in the church office until she was diagnosed very suddenly with cancer. It was sudden. It was bad. But, she has the best sense of humor and I just love talking to her. Because she says things like she did today in the first 10 minutes of our visit: “Ok, now I want you to put your seminary education to work and tell me what the United Church of Christ really believes about heaven.” I usually dodge this question and ask the ever-pastoral, “Well, I don’t know. Tell me what you think.” But, today, I explained what I really thought of heaven as I reminded her of the complexity of the UCC where we don’t state any one thing about heaven. I doubted this a bit so I tried to look it up and still didn’t find anything. But, I want to provide more fodder to the conversation so I’m mailing this beautiful saint this article from The Christian Century.

And I really don’t know if I should laugh or cry. I feel so honored to walk with her through this strange journey where we know life will end but no one really knows when. (That’s always true, isn’t it?) I can’t help but laugh with her but every time I leave the warmth of her home, I want to cry for all that stuff that I don’t know how to put into words. O Christ, in your mercy….

I have no idea what I want to say about the Gospel Lesson other than the quippy nonsense where it seems to offer an invitation to go shopping for a new handbag and something to help me dress for action. It’s one of those weeks where I just don’t feel like I have any words. I’m not sure what to say and I’m not even sure if I can believe Christ’s invitation not to be afraid. I think I am afraid of something I can’t quite name.

Instead, I am surrounded by boxes because I move to the second home I’ve ever owned. How does this happen? When did I become this 30-something who has bought and sold one home only to purchase another? And even in this, I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry.

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