In which there are stones in the temple of God

by Craig on September 30, 2011

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 love

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And as I watched Sara’s funeral service…
with all the Catholic “Mass” trappings…
I thought, hot, angry, “Where is Sara in this?!”…
then I remembered what she said…
“It’s not about me.”
I am humbled.

This is the final post on Sara’s funeral, part one was here, two here, three here. You’ll heart reading them.

and as I halt my inner grumbling about “religion” I am reminded that we are creations…
we are just creations of the One most mighty and most loving person…
The Almighty God and Father of us all…
and it is, and should be, ALL about him.

Why do I forget?

And I remember this, from Ignatius of Antioch, who sat at the feet of John the Apostle:

That we, who live in Christ, with selfless love for each other, are…

“…stones in the temple of the Father,
prepared for the building of God the Father,
and drawn up on high by the bulwark of Jesus Christ,
which is the Cross,
making use of the Holy Spirit as a rope…
You, therefore, as well as your fellow-travelers,
are God-bearers, temple-bearers, Christ-bearers, bearers of holiness,
adorned in all respects with the commandments of Jesus the Christ.”

I am just a stone of the temple.

Why do I forget?

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 lovesource

And then came Holy Communion. For a true Catholic this is really a communion with God…

The first and principal effect of the Holy Eucharist is union with Christ by love, which union as such does not consist in the sacramental reception of the Host, but in the spiritual and mystical union with Jesus by the theological virtue of love. (source)

I briefly think again, “Where is Sara in this?”…

but only for an instant…

Lo que es importante al mundo no es importante a Dios

What is important to the world is not important to God.

As I’m immersed in these thoughts I only barely notice that they are playing the recording of Amazing Grace by Sara

but when I did…

tears in torrents.

Oh how she designed this service to honor God above her…
and to redirect our thoughts from her to Him.
I have to honor her request.
It’s His request.

The priest said, “It’s time to ease our sadness and increase our hope.”

It is time.

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 lovesource

And now, as this bittersweet month of September draws to a close…
reading Sara’s last post…
9-11…
my birthday…
and the end of Sara’s earthly life…

and endless, endless tears…

I begin to breathe again.

Then people file out of the church…
to the grave…
and I watch the Mass candle being put out…
and the smoke rises…
twists…
pirouettes…
and slowly…
ever so slowly…
vanishes.


“…a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.” (James 4:14)

It’s not about us.

And sunrise this morning?

Not a cloud in the sky – just a morning star to greet the dawn…

the dark night sky above surrenders to increasingly lighter hues of blue…

to lavender above the horizon…

and a brilliant orange where land meets sky…

the branches sway in gentle rhythm…

it will be a gloriously bright and crisp Autumn day.

No tears…

sadness waning like the dark of night…

Choose. Joy.

Oh…
and this…

from Sara…

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 love

treats from Sara's memorial service - shared by Tam Hodge

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“I realized last week that I have converted many a person to frozen Oreos via Twitter…

Life. Changing. People.”

ツ Choose Joy

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora September 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

Craig!!!!! I can’t even begin to relate the tremendous flood of thoughts and emotions that overflowed its banks as I read this. I want to use the word, “brilliant,” but that word does not contain any emotions or heart or soul — just mind-y thoughts. The one negative that boiled inside of me was my own regrets. Here I am, on the sunset side of life. God had given me a healthy young-adult body, all the “Christianity” anyone would ever need, opportunites to use it, and I blew it because it was “all about Cora.” I never chose joy. I wallowed in muck. I whined about what had been my lot, I wished for more — always more.

I, too, found tears flowing as I watched and listened to Sara’s funeral. I had the same thoughts. I wished I could have been there. I wished I had thanked her for what she taught me, for her life and example.

I’ve made life changes before. Most stuck for a while, then fell by the wayside as time dimmed the decision. But choosing joy. . . and “it’s not all about me” are two changes that will stay forever. Frozen oreos?????? That might be the third. The first two for Him. . . the third . . . for Sara.

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Craig September 30, 2011 at 11:33 am

Cora, I actually smiled as I read your first paragraph – only because I relate – except for the Christianity part – that I didn’t have – but I wallowed a lot. And I whined a lot. And I wished for more – a lot. I almost went to the funeral. I had my bags packed – and Laska too – for Cedar Rapids – then found out it was in Algona – another 5 Hour Dr. – added to the already five-hour drive – and with the sleep thing – well – we can only do what our bodies can do. No? But watching it online was a blessing – time to talk with God about it as I watched – I think, for me, it may have been more healing. Not all change is hard – right? Frozen Oreos –NOM. God bless you Cora.

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Martha Orlando September 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

Thank you, Craig, for this most touching memorial to Sara. Thank you for reminding us all to, always and everywhere, choose joy.
Peace be with you . . .

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Craig September 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

Martha, it’s taken weeks of you all patiently reading these posts as I worked things out – and this hard pounding everywhere out of control – thank you for being patient – and I take with this moment to things – it’s all about God – it’s all about love – not about me………………. and…………… choose joy. God bless you Martha – peace is here – smiles maybe soon to follow.

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Dawn October 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Dear Craig,

I read all Sara posts “from the sidelines”. I did not know of Sara, her blog, her tweets and all the rest except as you spoke of them. Yet, in every post there was something that struck the heart. Today it was your asking “Why do I forget?” I ask the same thing over and over. I know so much and as soon as I’m out and about into busy life it vanishes. It’s like that verse in James 1:23-24 “If any be a hearer of the word and not a doer, (s)he is like a (wo)man beholding her/his natural face in a mirror; For (s)he beholds and goes her/his way, and immediately forgets what manner of (wo)man (s)he was.

Wow! That’s me IMMEDIATELY I forget. It is so immediate that I don’t even pause. I want the joy, resilience, patience, endurance…to be the natural response (the reflex of the soul)
not the old (wo)man. “Why do I forget?” spoke to me. Thanks for laying it all out there.

Dawn

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Craig October 2, 2011 at 9:29 am

remember back when my every post was about the book of James – I have to go back now and finish a couple of other series – and then get back to James and finish that up. See, this is the easy blog for content. The other one I heart more because love is the thing – but this one is so much easier to write. Except this one can get too “blah blah” theology if I’m not careful – it’s so easy to lose the heart of theology. Sara was the heart of theology. And yes James new that we would hear the gospel and forget – we would understand the law of love and forget. And we forget as quickly as you do – I’m sad, but happy, that we share this trait. God bless you Dawn.

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Deborah October 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this, even though it made me cry and want to try frozen Oreos. I’ll spend the rest of the day listening to her sing.

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Craig October 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Deborah, I could write of nothing other than Sara for weeks – think this one of the last posts – she has a permanent spot on my sidebar and in my subject cloud – on both blogs. I’m able to now choose joy again – I wasn’t for a while. I was crushed – and wrote about it. You know how that goes. The song that hit me most in her final weeks was “breath of heaven” – the one that gets me now – the one that got me during her funeral service – was amazing Grace. Thank you Deborah, and God bless and keep you and yours.

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