Monday, November 8, 2010

oh! the places you'll work

When I was in high school I took a career test to see where I would work someday. My result: Mortuary. This was not all that odd to me since my father is and always has been a mortician (although now he is far more important and doesn't get to embalm as much as he'd like - I know - anyways . . .). Little did I actually think that career test would have such prescient knowledge but here I am, working at a mortuary.
To be accurate, I work at a bookstore and at a mortuary. I love books and selling these precious page-filled-friends of mine to young aspiring, or aged and avid readers brings me tremendous joy. It's a great job but strangely, the mortuary is always where I would rather be. There I am in contact with death, with grief, with the most uncomfortable and ignored emotions on the planet. It is a remarkable place where perspective hits a little too hard at times, but perspective is a huge gift. Yes, there are funerals that no one attends, where I am left wondering if they just lived too long or if they lived the wrong way. But then there are those funerals where everyone is smiling, celebrating, and united in the joy of their shared relationship with a singular and wonderful person. It inspires me and I love it. It is an incredible process to observe and one that you and I will go through.
Isn't that scary?
It scares me, but we forget that it faces everyone, that your family will die and that you will die. That is a piece of the perspective but let me share the rest with you: you see, death is the poetic opposite to life. As we approach or experience death, we are stunned by the importance and bursting flavors life holds. Death is a perspective in itself - and one that most people have not grown up with as the children of morticians do. The most important aspect that I have seen death illuminate is our relationship with God. I've seen many funerals void of God and therefore, void of hope. Those funerals are the most excruciating and painful to watch as no one is able to point to love, prayer, grace, God's faithfulness or meaning in their lives.
I've found Heaven to be a place of great comfort as I live this life. It sounds rather odd that it comforts me so already, but not when we recognize God's poetic perfection and His design where death inspires us to live.

I hope you found this meaning-full.


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