09 November 2015

Taking it with you....

Last week I chatted with a hospice patient. One who insisted he did not know why he was there and that he felt fine. Not resigned to his fate but a fighter who still has a few rounds left in him.

Somehow we got on the subject of retirement and finances and money. He told me... " I never wanted a lot of money, just enough to pay my bills. I never wanted to be rich. All the rich think about is how to keep what they have." That may not be an exact quote but it's close.

I thought about that statement over the weekend. I suppose there is some truth to it, but it also is full of error.

I know wealthy people who think a lot about how best to give their money away. How to use it for the Lord's work. How to be the stewards that He wants. I really dont know any who only focus on how to keep it, though I'm sure there are some.

For me, dollars are like rocks strewn along the road to righteousness. Some days there are just a few decisons to make and they are simple ones. They are like pebbles, little annoyances. Other days there are big decisions, boulders. They don't block the road, they never do. But they always distract, make you look the wrong way, or take a different path.

I have never heard anyone say that having more money brought them closer to Christ, though millions would testify that being without it certainly did.

04 November 2015

A thought last night on characters in the Prodigal Son Parable.

I have been all of them.

I have been the one who strayed into sin and squandered gifts from the Father.

I have been the one who was judgemental and unforgiving of a person who asks for forgiveness.

I have been the father who forgives a child.

I have been the servant, observing these things in the lives of others, just watching and waiting to be told what to do.

Which character am I right now?

03 November 2015

Post-game comments

Funeral homes have online guest books. You can leave comments about the deceased. It is a very impersonal way to connect to the family during one of their most personal and emotional experiences, the passing of a loved one. 

Today I ran across an entry I made on one of these a while back. It was for someone I had known for a few years who had passed away. Someone I did not really like, nor dislike.The type of person I would not go out of my way to see. Like a distant cousin you don't know very well.

I found myself thinking, "If I would not say these nice things to the person while they are alive, why I am writing them today?"

I am certainly giving the impression to his family that this person was someone I liked much more than I did.

Am I a bad person for doing this? Perhaps this is something we all do, which is the worst excuse there is. There are several ways to look at this.

1) I want to give the false impression to others that I am nicer than I am. That I cared for this person more than i actually did. 

2) In the passing I am reminded that in spite of our faults, we all have nice qualities. (how trite) I want the family to know that I remember nice things about their loved one. 

3) God is telling me that I was wrong to not have reflected His love toward this person. I rightfully feel guilt. I want to make amends but only with a gesture that is tiny. 

01 November 2015

Parting Gift

A hospice patient plays the harmonica. "Would you like to hear something?" Plays Blue eyes crying in the rain. I hum along.