Friday, September 16, 2011

The 9-16 Dance

"He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave." Mathew Henry

When 9-11 comes, my family is glued to the TV. We watch all the shows about the day, the aftermath, and the stories of the families that have happened since that day. When 9-16 comes we have a sense of what those families feel. You see on 9-16, our family remembers the day Daniel died. While I understand that our loss was not equivalent to those loses on 9-11, because we had prepared, said our goodbyes and thought about what 9-17 may be like, those families did not. Yet what I think we have in common is that there has been a response to the loss. From the rubble and destruction that caused death, life eventually springs forth. From the pain and sadness, hope and vision come forth. From what seemed bad, good has come. First we mourned, now we dance!

Kermit the Frog speaks of the response to death of his son to his gathered family as Bob Crachit, in the Muppets Christmas Carol. "Life is made up of a series of meetings and partings and our family has experienced parting with the death of Tiny Tim. We are reminded to be thankful for our family, each member precious, each unique, and perhaps, appreciating our family becomes easier in the wake of a parting, a loss."  Kermit's family then responds quietly, in acknowledgment of this moment of loss, and in love and appreciation for each other. Every year as I watch that scene from the movie, I am moved, as I so know the scene from my own life. That moment after one has parted, when it is just those gathered who feel the love and appreciation for those who are close and the pain of the loss. I have been blessed to experience it many times since. 

As I spoke to my mom this morning, little was said, but we acknowledged how long it has been since Dans has gone, and spoke of the loss of others in the family since. The series of meetings and partings continue, we know we shall be together again in heaven so the sense of loss is lessened. We feel no fear, there are no unanswered questions, death has no grip on us, it is as it says in Romans 8. Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time to mourn and a time to dance, so we have mourned and some days we still mourn, but now we mostly dance. I believe the dance is the eventual good response to death, to loss.

Pastor Jim Erickson was known to says regularly that we can get bitter or get better. I hope our response as a family has been to get better, to dance, to create more family. Our immediate family has grown, the camps are built on creating family, the camp staff family continues to grow, the church family has grown. Nothing is more important than building Gods family, it is an easy formula really. Knowing that God's family has grown out of the rubble of Dan's death makes it easier too for me. I know Dan would be pleased if he was here, I know doing Gods work was most important to him in his very short life.

So I close this entry by challenging all who read it to build God's family. Be wary of getting caught up in mourning, in pain, in knowledge, in religion, in thought, in anything that sidetracks you from His family. Nothing is more important, as there is nothing God desires more than growth in His family. In the wake of His sons death, I think it is what makes God dance!