While we have a responsibility as walking advertisements of the church with the black badges we wear, to lead as the Savior leads, we also have the responsibility to ourselves, families, and mission to make decisions that will keep us safe.
We had another different kind of experience with a homeless woman, Ingrid, who needed more than what we could safely give. We fed her, listened to her, toted her around a little, tried to comfort and lend help to her needs. Eventually we took her to the bus station and paid for her fare to a police station. But ultimately, because one can recognize a certain level of mental illness sometimes associated with these people, the wisest, safest, and most loving decisions seemed harsh but necessary. Still, the thoughts that haunted me all that night were those that reminded me that she is also a beloved child of God as much as anyone else. I have no knowledge of why, where, or what about her situation to bring her to this point in her life. And so, though we may be limited in the amount of safe help we can offer, she is still a child of God to honor and uphold.
And that is how it is with so many others around us who are hard to love or respect. Because they are all God's children make each important enough to notice, lead, love, and even honor. They, too, have the capacity to become gods.
On this memorial weekend, there are others to honor. So many who have gone before us that have sacrificed more than we'll ever imagine in this life. Recent passings of others who we love and miss and honor for the impact they left on our lives.
Most days when we take this particular route to work, we pass by a crowded, yet lonely cemetery that is worlds away from the serene setting where we have our dear ones laid to rest.
In this part of this inner-city cemetery, the uncared-for stones and grounds is a stark contrast to the peaceful, serene, and sacred grounds we visit to honor and memorialize our dear ones. The stones are so crowded together, there is no room for grass between. So it's all one big cement area with stones very close to one another. But I have seen in the distance, another part of this cemetery on a small rise that actually does have some grass between headstones. Just not in this place we pass.
How precious those are who have left us temporarily to prepare another place for us. I'm grateful for a day to remember them and their great impact. A chance to honor these great ones in our lives. Please eat a few extra handfuls of peanut M&M's for me, and also some delicious cheetos, while you wash it all down with apple beer. Please take time to remember. . .and honor.