Playdates: The Beauty of Dying

He is passionate about funerals and communion and children in worship and says that worship should be about us sharing the stories of the Word. He has written a book on worship and I have read it from cover to cover—highlighting and underlining bits that speak story to me. He has come from Maryland to teach us about worship and I have driven from my now home to the home where I grew up to meet up with him and my classmates. He is fluent on the piano and he makes us sing. We start off wobbly at first but we gain confidence at his encouragement and soon we are singing with our hearts.
The boys came with me and they are spending the day with my mother and part of me is distracted by this strangeness all day. Coming home is dying for me—letting go of the past and embracing love and forgiveness. When I drive to the church where our class is held I realize that if I keep going straight up the street I will come to Compton’s farm—one of the places we used to park in high school. Memories of stolen kisses haunt me as we discuss the Eucharist.
There is no more appropriate time than a funeral to celebrate communion, he says. Death is the consummation of everything our Lord celebrated in that final feast.
His voice is hushed with reverence and I am jarred by what he says.
Can I celebrate this death?
That first night my classmates get together in the hotel and drink wine and talk about amendment 10 but I drive the windy road to mom’s and sleep on the floor of her living room with one boy on the couch above me and the other asleep in an adjoining room. The windows are open and I listen to the sounds of my roots. I hear a train lumber nearby and its thunderous passing leaves me lonely in its wake.
This death is painful but I feel the beauty of the feast calling and I shift my pillow and let sorrow leak. They don’t believe that I know the One True God but He is with us the next day at dinner. I take the roll made by my mother’s hands and break off a bite.
It is soft in my mouth, rich and sweet, and I ache with the beauty of this dying. 
How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.
 
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Comments

  1. says

    I live right next to the town I grew up in and often, when I turn around, there is something else that needs to die. I remember competition. I remember divorce. I remember football games and the relationships that started and ended on bleachers. No matter where I am, though, there is something that needs to die. And no matter where I am, there is something God is growing.

    This is a beautiful piece you have written, Laura.

  2. says

    Beautiful. I meet those memories needing grace. The pain and the beauty of this piece is as real as the taste of your mother’s roll in my mouth. Thank you for sharing the feast.

  3. says

    Your willingness to be poured out however He chooses so that you can walk in the very center of His Heart is so very beautiful. He knows what it costs you and the price you pay brings Him such Glory! It is awesome to behold.

  4. says

    Oh.My.Goodness. Laura, this is simply stunning. Having come late to this blog-love-fest-virtual-community thing, I knew nothing of your background. So much is now clear. But this writing – and this photo – and this reference to this pastor and his church and his book. These are precious gifts and I thank you so very much. Oh.My.Goodness.

  5. says

    Laura…this is beautiful.
    I’m still processing.
    Almost didn’t comment because it made me think about…a lot.
    I read through three times…
    Always thankful for the way you share.

  6. says

    I love me a good funeral. I love when the place gets thin between this life and eternity. I really wish my church had a cemetery on its property. I agree with your speaker about funerals and communion and worship.

    Talking about the eucharist in the place you used to park. Beautiful!

  7. says

    I love this new look for you…simple, sweet, and capturing the essence of you:-) I can’t imagine what it is to face this world you’ve walked away from…it cuts me deep to think of that journey. On the other side, I am SO THANKFUL you are where you are…in the beauty and freedom of this Great God we know! much love,

  8. says

    I have to find God in nature. I don’t mean that in a new age kind of way. For better or worse, I tend to appreciate people in part based on what they do or how they interact with me.

    God has made the world. When I am out in it, I can see the evidence of his work. It’s not the same as God clapping me on the back, but it’s what I’m learning to appreciate.

  9. says

    Miss Laura, I reckon that the train isn’t the only thing you heard through those open windows. Even as a kid, you heard the wind, God’s very breath leading you to Him. Look at you now. You are okay. You are good. You are His beloved daughter.

    Blessings.

  10. says

    Thinking about the past. Some of it needs to die. But some of it I want to continue to live today. Our last child graduated a week ago! There is a part of our life that has just died. But, friends tell us there is new life when the last one leaves. But, the memories …

  11. says

    For the Christian who has passed on to Glory, this can be a celebration – – on both sides. We as we remember our friend or loved one’s life, and the angels who welcome the new arrival. Yes we will miss them and grieve for a time, but we shall join them soon and very soon for we too shall see the King.

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