Linda and I deeply appreciate all the care and concern people have shown us these past few weeks after the death of Linda’s mom on January 2 and my mom January 13. This afternoon, Thursday, we will bury my mother beside her parents and other family members in a section of plots at Greenwood Cemetery that has been in our family for generations. Large, winding oak trees shroud this area with shade and beauty, and a rich perspective on the interconnectedness of life.
On Saturday, January 28, we will celebrate my mother’s life in the chapel at First UMC, where, at 80 years of age, she was married to Col. Brad Bradley.
For now, we are sustained by your love, the rich well of life, this presence of God within and without. I reflect on these oaks and the soil, and family and friends, and realize the interconnectedness is unavoidable and a deep blessing when we open to it and draw upon its life-giving presence. Author and poet, Mark Nepo, writes, “Letting joy temper sorrow is how we endure; and letting sorrow temper joy is how we remain compassionate.” And so I give thanks for your love and support as I learn to sit with the sorrow and rest in its clarifying vision — seeing life as it is, interconnected and interdependent. As sad as burying Mom will be, I look forward to the joyful celebration and remembrance and to, moment-by-moment, breathing deeply in the presence of life.
I will be back this Sunday, January 22, to welcome the amazing artist and Dallas Peacemaker of the Year, Karen Blessen. A Pulitzer Prize-winning artist, Karen is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of 29 Pieces, an organization dedicated to using art for positive social change. She was recently named Peacemaker of the Year by the Dallas Peace Center for her work teaching and leading students and adults in the Dallas Respect Project, which was recently celebrated with the dedication of a 20-foot sculpture in West Dallas created by students and several community partners.
You will not want to miss her inspiring talk as we explore ways in which the epiphany of life, the presence of God, opens to us and invites us to participate in bringing life to one another.
This Sunday, January 22, in eleven:eleven celebration
The season of Epiphany — “Life is Like . . .”
with Dallas artist and peacemaker, Karen Blessen
The Revolution Band, and the music of Susan Tedeschi, Ben Lee,
and Peter Mayer
Sacred Sites Tour of Ireland/Northern Ireland
August 1 – 12, 2017
Be on the lookout for an email invitation to join me, international labyrinth builder Jay Sailey, and Irish Storyteller/Tour guide Batt Burns (and 25 participants) for an amazing Sacred Sites trip to Ireland from August 1 – 12, 2017. St. Kevin in the Wicklow Hills, the rich history and life of Dublin and Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, the Troubles, an international peace labyrinth build, and much more!
Check out this link for more details and information!
See you Sunday!