I remember one of my uncles joking with the young kids, I think it was Paul, but it could have been Jim or Matt. The point is, I remember seeing the sadness and also the laughter.
In my family we love each other intensely, not just our immediate family, but our extended family as well, all the aunts, uncles, cousins. We cry when they leave us but we celebrate as well. We celebrate their life and we celebrate that they have gone on to what we believe is not an end to life, but a change, an eternal life with their maker and an opportunity to be together again with all those relatives that have gone before them.
At my Uncle John's funeral this week, his grandson Jake, sang a song for us. It was the Beatles "Let it be". What a perfect song and what a good job he did, a gift for his grandpa and for all of us.
Thank you Jake.
When the angel came to Mary and told her she would bear a son, her response was simple, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.'
The song speaks of giving ourselves to our Higher Power, especially "in my hour of darkness" because "there is still a light that shines on me."
I believe in these "words of wisdom", and yet I struggle. I struggle in knowing when I am supposed to act and when I am supposed to accept. When is it time to fight with every God given once of strength against what I see as being unjust in this world and when is it time to leave it all in my Higher Power's hands?
Wiser people than I have pondered this question.
So I listened to Mary's words once more.
Mary didn't accept things how they were, she accepted God's role for her, a role that was far from passive.
It's not so much accepting things as they are as it is accepting that God wants us to work for how things can be.
I like the way Cesar Chavez put it:
"There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance."
Laughter and tears, fighting on and letting go.