In Memoriam XIII

World War One Destruction, Altar in the church of Segusino
@austriannationallibrary

Dear Garrett,

I can understand why it might seem like the end of time is near. So much is happening around us, every day brings a new surprise, and it seems like the entire world is walking on eggshells. The entire world filled with angst about the worst possible outcome coming true, a nightmare becoming reality.

I get it.

At your leaving Isabelle was only three months old. Now she is a full fledge teenager and the other little ones at your leaving are even older, some are young adults. They growing, living, you frozen in time for us, the dimples, smile, and the beautiful eyes of innocence, mischief, and curiosity. For years we held close to those other young ones for fear that they too would take their leave. We filled with angst that the worst possible outcome might come true, a nightmare becoming reality.

I get it.

As you know I find myself perpetually frustrated with the church. It has been a love/hate relationship for a long time. It started when I awakened to the reality that my understanding of it was not everyone’s, when it failed to lift me up, and worst the times it did not want me for who I was. I’ve tried to leave it more times than I can count, tried to tell myself that I need to move on, that it is not worth it, that it will continue to fail me and others. I constantly filled with angst about the worst possible outcome coming true, a nightmare becoming reality.

I get it.

You died and it sucked. It rocked my world, my theology, my knowledge, my identity, my hopes and dreams for the future, and my call (and not just to pastoral ministry but to being a dad, husband, friend). The grief in your parents eyes—a grief never erased, merely softened by the wear of time, like an old scar—reminding me of how fickle, frail, and fitful this life is.

I get it . . . and yet.

Walking on eggshells is no way to live.
A worst possible outcome might not be the worst.
Nightmares do become reality more often than we care to know.
Losing is part and parcel of what it means to live.
Dying is the only way to new life.

We carry on broken, yet mended
scarred yet healed;
Dying yet living;
Anxious yet hopeful;
For the works of hope
are bearing fruit around us.

Children becoming young men and women,
Inner Circles becoming the body of Jesus.
Death an invitation,
To live differently,
As one who is dying.

I’m still trying to get it. Thank you for being a companion along the way. I miss you!

See you at the Great Feast!

Juan Carlos+

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