I am a member of the Arimatheans at my church. It is more casually known as the funeral Ministry. I assist in any way necessary at a funeral Mass. I might carry candles. I might serve as a Eucharistic Minister. I do what I need to do.
I like this job.
I am also on the Bereavement Ministry, which is somewhat different - I help with the receptions after the funerals, if the family requests that one is to be held. A couple of people serve on both.
There were four funerals this week. I helped at three of them.
I was happy to do so. I feel like this is what I'm called to do right now, to support a family in their time of loss, to be a mourner - even for a person that I don't know. The sparsely attended funerals are the most difficult. When I'm sitting and listening, I often wonder - who will be at my funeral? Will the pews be empty and quiet? Will the tissues remain unused, the choir outnumber the mourners? I really hope that the priest won't have to give a homily that shows clearly that the person wasn't active or known in the church.
I want to be a part of my church. I want to be an integral active member.
I also clean the church on Thursdays. I *love* those ladies. They are a hoot.
My mom counseled me not to become overly involved. She remembers the breakdown I had. The non stop crying on the sofa, the depression, the sadness that felt as much a part of my blood as my love for music, the despair
and she doesn't want me to go back there again.
Neither do I.
At many of the funerals I work, the first reading is from Ecclesiastes 3:1. Commonly known as the bible verse on which The Byrds basd their hit song Turn! Turn! Turn! - the reading illustrates that there is a time for everything in your life. I was spacing out today during the readings, and when I realized it I forced myself to really listen to the words.
I have terrible ADD. I'm often found - wait, was that something shiny?
I thought about this reading today, and realized something. I'm often upset that I haven't sold a book/kept off all my weight/gotten a great new job/discovered a new use for dryer lint/become famous for solving the hunger crisis - and then I realized something.
It's not my time for those things yet.
I haven't gotten a new job to replace my old income - but I can be there, right now, for the people who need someone. I haven't sold my book yet, but I can be the arms and legs for the cleaning crew that is getting a bit older, struggling to reach as easily as they once did. I am not famous - but I can help.
And instead of beating myself up for what I haven't done, what I have yet to accomplish - it is a season.
I remember being overwhelmed with three kids in diapers, car seats in every space, pacifiers and high chairs and booster seats and teaching people to walk and talk and shoes are for your feet and food is to eat, not to play with and the A makes the aaaaa sound -
and we just got rid of every sippy cup and divided plate and almost every car seat except one booster and everyone can tie their shoes and be counted on to pee and brush their own teeth.
It was a season - albeit a long season, one that I *never* thought would change - but it has.
And this is a season for me right now. A season to be helpful, to fill in the spaces, to be the youngest one who knows absolutely nothing of the proper way to do things, the one to learn and be humble enough to take correction again and again and again.
Instead of beating myself up for what I haven't done, maybe I need to remember these words:
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—