Monday, June 30, 2014

A couple of commandments

I'm a Christian and I'm proud of it.  I believe the whole Bible.  If you have a problem with that, you are excused.  If you are okay with me interpreting a couple of commandments, then hang around, you might learn something.

First, do not lie.
Left off of the commandment are conditions for lying like inserting the words "but" or "except."  Just don't.  Don't put it there.  Do not try to justify your untruth to me or God or anyone else.  Stop it.

Why?  Lies hurt.  Now, I am not perfect.  Have I lied?  Yep.  In my lifetime, the lies told about me by my family have hurt.  I recently discovered I was not only lied to, but lied to for years.  Deception - intentionally concealing a truth.  A truth that I must now pay for.  After the first lie that I had to deal with, I decided to be as honest as I could humanly be.  I am blunt.  I am not cruel.  I tell the truth.

Second, honor your parents.
Now my interpretation is this.  Moses had a bunch of people traveling through the desert.  Old people travel slowly and it would be awful tempting to leave them at the last camp out and move on.  God said not to leave them.  Bring them along.  The elderly deserve to be provided for.  Even though I have disagreed with many actions of my parents, I decided prayerfully a LONG time ago to provide for their needs and not leave them in the desert.  Whatever version of the desert we have in 21st century America.

The commandments can be summarized into two points: love God and love each other.  Lying is not loving.  Leaving your parents to die in the desert is also not loving.

Someone out there in cyber-land is thinking I am a very angry woman.  You could say that.  I would agree with you.  And here is my last point:  anger is not a sin.  There are many warnings in the Bible about sin that can occur when you are angry and I have to really watch myself.  God is angry at times.  Jesus was angry in the temple.  Anger is a God-given emotion and it can be productive.

I am going to end with this: the Lord of the universe loves me and you enough to let us learn lessons from Him and each other.  Not all lessons are easy or very palatable.  Some cause anguish... but joy comes in the morning.

I am waiting for that morning.  The Sonrise will be glorious.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Getting to Know my Sister (Differently)

It's been eight days since I found out my only sibling had died.

It has been a whirlwind of clean up and meetings and parent and pet management.  Travel.  Lots of travel between my home and hers.  After a few days, I was able to sleep again at night.  Eating isn't a problem - so don't worry about that.  I'm a stress eater :)  On the plus side, I lost 5 lbs this week.

Planning a service. Trying to decide what needs to be handled when.
As a very task-oriented person, that part of it isn't too overwhelming.  It's just the quantity of what needed to be done.

The stressful part of this:  meeting new people.  As an introvert, that is particularly difficult for me.  As the sister of someone who had a bubbly, vibrant personality, it was more difficult.  My sister and I are very different in how we interact with people.  On my drive to her town, I started getting cryptic messages from her friends via facebook.  My stress level rose.  Not only had I just lost my only sister, I was worried about how her friends perceived me.

I prayed a lot.  I need to be salt and light.  I need to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  But what I needed was to receive salt, light, and the hands and feet of Jesus.  I lost my mother 10 years ago.  She had been very sick, so I was able to prepare (as much as you can) and was not surprised at her death.  The death of my 44 year old sister was a shock.

But what I found were people who accepted me because I was the sister of someone they loved very much.  Some of them have actually talked with me and could accept what I needed to say. They loved her so much they filled the funeral home chapel.  So I'm going out on a limb, and it feels pretty shaky, and going out with her friends.

I want to know the Natalie they knew.