Thanks to all who've sent condolences...I so appreciate them, as does everyone in our church family. And I apologize for the radio silence. I was offline for most of the weekend, as we filmed a class I help teach called Seek at the incredible WGBH studios. My friend and pastor Dave flashed his superhero cred, giving six talks one day, eight the next (all while being filmed by 3 cameras, before an audience of 60-85 people). Then Sunday, those of us who help with Seek filmed behind the scenes commentary, as if we were on a talk show. It was super fun, and not just because for the first time I thought of Dave as Oprah :)
It's weird to have fun in the midst of mourning. It messed with my head a bit. On one of my rare moments online, I found my joy squashed by utter frustration, as a glitch/delay in Facebook's posting of my blog made it look like I commented on Andrew's death...and then immediately segued into my love of 1980s shoulder pads. I was horrified. But then I realized how closely this mirrors real life. It's rarely either/or...it's both/and.
Last night I wrapped up a series of talks on Relationships & Spirituality. Our conversation centered mostly around this tension--how we live each day in the balance between dreams deferred and dreams come true. It's not easy. The big temptation is to focus on our heartbreak, trying to fix it, or allowing ourselves to be pulled under and drowned by disappointment. But the primary antidote we're offered is equally unhelpful, as if a coat of "fake it til you make it" happy dust makes all bad/hard/disappointing things go away. I don't think that's the abundant life God created us for. I think God made us strong enough to live in the tension, and to embrace it all as real.
As I learned from a sitcom in my childhood, You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life...
As odd as it sounds, I feel like this collision of sadness and joy has made life bigger. And I'm not alone (as so many conversations over the past 6 days have confirmed). It makes me want to pray more, and connect with God's big plan. Later this week, I'll be sharing my thoughts on what this might look like, in case you want to join in. In the meantime, thanks for being here. It means a lot.