Have you ever been in a situation and you do not know what to do? How to act? What should my response be? Around death I am like that. In a couple of days I will be in another funeral situation. This time I will not be looked at as a minister, but as family. I am not good at these things. People expect me to be, but I am not. That doesn't mean I do not hold it together, or say wrong things. I typically do not say much of anything. There is a reason for that...I understand there is nothing anyone can say or do to help grief of lose. Nothing. It is best I just listen. You hear things like they are in a better place, which most would mean heaven, but that also means being with us is terrible. You can hear they are at peace now, are they? Dead means peace? Why do we do that? Why do we create these sayings? Is it to make us feel better or is it truth? I try not to say things like that, because I am not the judge of one's heart.
I have been around the funeral business and even education of morticians. It is actually intriguing, the science and history of it all. Most of our practices of the preparation and services of the dead stem around the church. Imagine that? The church even controlled the history of the funeral business. I do not know the actual process of what happens when we take our last breath. It also makes me question anyone that says that they do. It is one of the unknowns of life. Now that also does not mean that I do not have a belief in what I think happens either. My belief system is not because I have researched it scripturally, or experienced it naturally. However scripturally, maybe a little. But there is not much on the subject. I would venture to say that is why there is so many variations of beliefs in the after-life. It would also seem to make me question spirituality that focuses more on after-life than life. Do I live for the unknown or do I make the most of what I know. Should I not focus on being kind, loving, giving, hopeful, and joyous now? And to all people? That would make sense to me. But who am I? I believe I am part of a royal priesthood and chosen people to speak and live such things. But once again that is up to individual belief systems.
If your thoughts and beliefs of the after-life did not happen, what harm is created by kindness, love, giving, hope, and joy to others in life today? Is your belief of after-life based on who you should and should not be those things to? If so that is very shallow belief system. If your statement is I must, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." I will say it again, "Your belief system is shallow." I will farther challenge that statement and say, IT IS NOT IN THE BIBLE. Are we not all sinners? Is it not written we have all fallen short of the glory of God? Then one must go back to, what is sin? The scriptural definition to sin is, "To know to do right and do it not." Let's measure that out a bit.
Is it right to alienate another human-being? Is it right to judge others? Is it right not to love others? Almost everyone would say, "No." However, lets get real. We fight inclusion of ALL everyday in this country, just turn on the news. Let's bring it home, where it is real. Do we do it in our families? Do we do it in our communities? I am going to recall a painful story. I am sure my family will not be pleased by what I write, but in my writing I hope others feel they are not alone, and it brings about hope and peace for them.
I was in a salon one day and a lady went to the same church as a family member. My family member had been with this person in the altar area praying about salvation. When my family member began to talk about sin and that we all have junk. My family member didn't talk about their own junk, but what they perceived is my junk. The statement went something like this, " We all have stuff, you see I have a lesbian in my family." Now I must laugh at the whole thing, because I see how shallow a belief system of my family member is and was. (Love the sinner, hate the sin.) I would also like to emphasize I have no relationship with this person anymore because of my 'sin.' Which what they call sin, I call me. It took me a long time to find and understand me because of the church, not because of God, but the church. Those who are the holier Christians than the real Christians. I know, Ouch.
Years ago, a man who poured into me spiritually, he would always say, "You could be bitter or better." I understand what better now means. I show mercy, love, kindness, to those that even do not show it to me. I include when I have been isolated. Why? Because no matter what I believe happens in the after-life, I live for today. For if I do what I know is right today, it would seem that the after-life will work itself out. I should be focusing on being kind, loving, giving, merciful, hopeful and joyous. Believing in the Character of Christ so that I may not die, but live. For if I don't that, it would be considered sin to me, and I do not want to answer for others lack of character, but for the character created in me.