Have I told you lately?

I’ve been moping around for a few days. I’ve been grieving and measuring if the recently deceased’s callings and purpose were fulfilled. I have friends who have ended 30-year marriages. Some of my young friends are making choices they may regret. Acquaintances have disappointed me with behavior that I had not expected—I just expected more from them. I’ve been hurting over spiritual barrenness and the social upheaval in our country. The image of that body lying on the Ferguson street is not easily erased—regardless of the surrounding causes and effects.

The past few weeks have been emotionally tough. An extended family member said the only social activity she and her husband have is talking to their friends at funerals. Two classmates, a musician, former parishioners who were also good friends have died. There is another friend who will be with Jesus by the weekend.

I ran across a list of youtube videos of The Rev Grady Nutt this morning. My family listened to his albums of stories and felt enriched. I miss Grady. His sudden death 20 years ago left a hole. His humor still makes me laugh. I listened to all the material I have swiped from him. The recent death of Myles Munroe in the plane crash was a personal loss to me although he was a public figure. Friends, colleagues and public figures whose ministry poured vast amounts of instruction and hope into me—physically silent, but so present.

I saw a picture of an acquaintance who is now so rascally, rude and sometimes mean and irrational once was beautiful, at the top of their class and was pursued not avoided.

Our friend Beverly Mathews Coupe and her husband Mike operate a ministry to addicts and the hurting downtown Nashville. It is licensed by the state and ordained by the Kingdom. Beverly posed a healing proposition which caught me in my “mood”:

“Make a list of all the things you would miss about each of your friends and loved ones if you were to suddenly find that they weren’t here anymore. What are the things you would give anything just to see or hear them do ‘one more time’. Then begin to make a habit of cherishing those things.”

Then she did just that. We know most of the loved ones she named which made the message to my heart personal and powerful. She showed us how to do what she proposed. Reading her words was healing and instructive. We’ve been talking about the connection of joy and vulnerability. Dr. Brené Brown says we are “joy starved” due to our unwillingness or inability to be vulnerable. Telling people that you love them and which of their habits or practices is especially endearing really is raw vulnerability.  Therefore, a short distance to joy.

Have I told you lately…

© 2014 D. Dean Benton   http://bentonministries.com

Writer, Wonderer, Provoker

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