revelations at a weekend memorial service…

One of my uncles died last week. My father’s sister’s husband and a nice guy. So my brother and I drove home for the family gathering. There were a number of things that I noticed…

1. My brother’s wife, Risa, is in Philadelphia so she couldn’t make it back. It was too far to travel. But the family wasn’t quite… complete without her there. She’s part of the core now and there was an odd disparity without her.

The other two things are contrastably related.

2. My little brother’s become pretty articulate. He got up to speak a memory of my uncle and I found myself comparing him to others there. Many of my male cousins, second cousins, and extended family members are married and with families, but they still come across as “guys”. Only a few give off an adult man vibe, and Andrew is one of them… yeah, it surprised me too. 🙂

But it was a nice memory to give a family who is looking for good memories right now, as they adjust to this new reality of one less person.

3. Some guy, that I don’t know, but who is known by much of the extended family got up and spoke at the service. And I didn’t like him. This family has roots in fundamental Christianity and a variety of branches, but this particular person was much more into “head-in-the-sand-Christianity” and I could have done without him on a few levels.

The one that bothered me the most is when he was up front and called my uncle a “bad man”. I understand that he was trying to point out that we are all sinners without Christ. I get that. And it’s true. I believe that. But then when you are in front of people you say “he was a sinner”; you don’t tell grieving family that their husband/father/grandfather/brother-in-law was a bad or evil man just to make a point. Especially when most the crowd are already believers – you’re just being a jerk and hurting people.

So to me, this guy came across as the epitome of an irresponsible person. Not only emotionally in front of “friends”, but in the Christian community where you are supposed to set good examples and in human society as well – though, this last was for other reasons.

I guess it comes down to this – don’t forget who’s watching. We all get different messages. Some intentional and some not. We read them differently. And they can become garbled easily.

Some people, who just want to give comfort with a heartwarming story compare much more favorably than those who have their own agenda – and stick to it without regard of others.

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