He Kindly Stopped For Me

We laid my uncle to rest today. As I continue to consider deeper questions on life and existence, I am brought back to reality by the spring air and flowers dancing in the breeze. For life in the North East, the return of spring heralds much promise. And though sadness is upon my family, the joy of such renewal reminds us that the bitterness of cold, or the decline of health, does not last forever.

The thoughts in my mind turned to matters of faith today. For some, faith/religion can become such divisive issues, that to even mention the most subtle hint of discussion stirs great controversy. If I mark the trend in Millennials, that many do not ascribe to being members of an organized religion, perhaps I would be best to avoid any mention thereof. — Fair warning, I think meaningful and hot-button issues don’t require boxing gloves, rather a comfortable table with calm, respectable, and tactful discussion.

Just because someone does not believe, act, or worship a certain way, does not mean that they are without faith or having belief in something. I am a bridge builder, and it is not my place to say what is the supreme and unequivocal answer to everything. Also, I don’t believe anyone alive today can honestly say they know the answer. To do so would have people fighting over the answer as they have done for ages. I’d like to think Gen Y is ok with forgoing proving points and claiming who has the answer in favor of finding the right questions:

“Why do people suffer?”

“What can I do to help?”

“Where am I needed most?”

Representing such diverse visions, I can only say what I feel shows respect to those whom I seek to represent. I know that I know not. I seek knowledge, and I live according to the faith that I have developed through my life. And the only certainty I have is to live with love. Measure life with love. Judge your actions by love and the love they bring into the world. Beyond this, I think people will find their own expressions and beliefs; perhaps love will have the strength and care to cradle all the beliefs together.

Millennials have come into a world that has more information available than any point previous and it suits our nature as learners. By keeping our minds open we allow growth, and by being people of love, no one needs fear persecution. Science and faith will find ways to coexist, and respect and tact will grow connections in the face of different perspectives. Our greatest challenge will be to remember to love, even during the hardest moments. Forgiveness and mercy bring healing, and love is the thing that carries it all. Don’t let certainty of fact make you immune to an open heart and open mind. Remember that the Earth was most certainly flat and the center of the universe at one time.

In closing, and because creativity helps in times of sadness; here are some stanzas inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem on meeting death:

Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me
And drew about his cloak of silk
The veil eternity

“Good friend” said he in somber tone,
“Your hour is now at hand.”
“So come and go with me,” he said,
“To that far distant land.”

“But think you that it early yet,
for my departure now?”
“I’ve things undone,” I pleaded there,
“To stay, I pray allow.”

“No mortal flesh can linger long;
Souls shed weight they carry.
 Away we must to myst’ries all,
Rise dear one, don’t tarry.”

The hand out-stretched as one to guide;
Intention he made clear.
One journey through, and one to start;
There was no cause to fear.

I followed leaving all behind,
 Of trials ev’rywhere.
Unburdened from life’s sinew hold,
And free of all my care.

The flowers waved in lilting form,
Winter’s hold was over.
Returned in whole the ring of time,
‘Midst fields full of clover.

Our time with limit someday ends;
We make our journey home.
 In peace and myst’ry long to dwell,
Eternal Heaven’s dome.

Post, Post-Script — Note to self: take a few extra moments to review work before posting for spelling, etc. even if the subject matter is multi-layered and interesting. Clear and correct posts are classy. Don’t let desire to share affect overall image. Haste makes waste.