MY LIFE REDUCED TO DATES.
She lived. She died.
I’ve made it easy for the family. I planned my funeral. The readings. The music. Maybe the family will add something in the handout. A Bible verse. Something someone said in “fond remembrance.”
I don’t think this is morbid. It makes perfect sense to leave less hassle and work behind for those who must ensure you make it to your final resting place.
But still, nothing between those dates.
She lived. She died.
· Not a word about the joy, sadness, heartbreak, tragedy, loss, and gain.
· Not a word about what I packed into (at this point I don’t know) years of living.
· Nothing that shows where I failed and where I conquered.
· Where are the stories of the fat little girl that didn’t fit anywhere?
· Who found her friends in books?
· Loved her pets more than people.
· Spent hours at her piano. Loving the feel of the ivory keys under small fat fingers. (Yes, my piano has real ivory keys!)
· Bumbled her way through her teens and into her twenties.
· Messed up so many times during this period of her life she’s surprised she survived.
· Got married the first time for all the wrong reasons.
· Thought she’d stay forever young and didn’t notice aging sneaking up on her.
· Woke up one day to creaking joints and aching limbs and lump and bumps.
· Looks back over the years, plucking out memories, sometimes best forgotten.
· Cries at beauty. (Always.)
· Laughs at fate. (Sometimes.)
No, none of this would be on my epitaph. Unless I bought half the cemetery to accommodate my headstone. Across an acre or more.
I share my headstone with my husband and our daughter. She’s the only one “gone home” at this point. But our places are ready.
The inscription below his name:
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost.)
“Let your heart not be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)
I forgot to mention that I will be buried. No cremation for me. I told my beloved that if I need to burn, it will be in the afterlife. It’s not his choice.
But there you are.
She lived. She died.
I have no problem with that. Nothing I did is so spectacular that a movie will be made of my very ordinary life.
I didn’t realize how we do the same thing with the Son of God.
It took a morning devotion to open my eyes.
Father Richard Rohr (the Franciscan Priest at the Center for Action and Contemplation), points out that in the Apostles Creed we reduce our Lord’s time on earth to a comma.
The Apostles Creed:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
The Nicene Creed went “overboard” and awarded our Lord’s life two whole sentences.
The Nicene Creed.
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
All that He did, all that He taught, reduced to one sentence in the Apostles Creed and two sentences in the Nicene Creed?
I guess it might be because the faithful are expected to memorize The Creed.
Most of us don’t. Unless we were fed The Creed along with our first bottle of baby formula. And the Ten Commandments. Don’t forget those Commandments.
Most churches have cheat sheets in the pews. And it’s printed in the actual hymnal.
Imagine having to memorize the bulk of the New Testament. Along with all the references in the Old Testament to the coming Messiah.
That would purgatory right here on earth.
I guess that’s where Bible study comes in. If your beliefs are based on the Creed, you’d be in good shape.
Don’t forget the Commandments. Even if you only practice the first two.
Matthew 12: 37–40 — Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
He was born. A baby.
He died. A man.
Between those two dates, he laid the foundation of Christianity.
He performed miracles.
Yes, in between those commas,
With grateful thanks to @Bebe Nicholson. Her account of her sister packing a lunch consisting of two slices of white bread with nothing in between sparked this story.