Thursday, July 23, 2020


         This is the second in our Summer Series

                    FOLLOW THROUGH

Dear All of Us,
To grow up the kid in us has to find out two painful things:
 - There really is no such thing as a Santa Claus
 - There really is no such thing as an "ouch-less" band aid

It gets rougher from there.
 - You can't go out and play in the rain
 - your best friend moves to Topeka
 - Your pet fish dies and then it's your grandmother 
 - You have to start wearing glasses at ten
 - Adults screw up
 - You get into some significant sin.
 - You flunk out (beauty pageant, college, marriage, parenting, business)
 - "America the Beautiful" sometimes isn't all that good looking
 - Pastors talk the talk, but some don't walk the walk
 - And speaking of walk, the spiritual life isn't exactly a cake walk
   every day.

Loss and mourning.

                         "GOOD GRIEF!"

Well, grief for sure, but not at all good.
Mourning over pain, failure, loss - a hurt hit!

Then here comes Jesus telling us                

                  HAPPY ARE THEY THAT MOURN,
                  FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED.

The comfort part ok, but "mourning"? 
Forget it. 
And what's so "Happy" about it? 
We're outta here !
And we're not alone.
Our whole culture will go any lengths in pain and grief avoidance.

Well, let's widen the lens and see what we see,
personally and as a person part of a people.  
We're dealing here with loss and consequent pain.
Mourning is both.
And it involves a pallet of pain. 

 We may lose
  - a loved one
  - our temper
  - our virtue
  - opportunities
  - profit or popularity
  - confidence
  - face
   -  patience
  - preference or position
  - our sense of humor
  - the car keys to our faith

As a people we may lose
   - our ideals
   - our way
   - equity and justice
   - common purpose and cooperation
   - prosperity
   - reverence for Mother Earth
   - unity and peace
   - refinement and civility
   - grace and Godliness

Loss, personal or public, leads to grief and mourning.
The root words here are telling
      a sense of sorrow (grief from ME greven)
      a sense of anxiety  (mourn from ME mournen)
Someone or thing vital is lost, dead or dying.
That agitates, saddens. unnerves, disconcerts deeply.
We mourn.
We mourn all sorts of loss.

So, back to Jesus and his beatitude


Our situation is not static.
We're evolving.
We're in the mix and chaos of creation,
in the midst of God's kingdom come and coming.
Leaves bud, blossom, die, decompose  
and over millions of years are pressed into oil.
Neanderthals walked for water, shelter and food
and now we drive to restaurants, and rocket to the moon.
There is gain, yet loss, more gain, yet more loss,
yet ever more gain and growth.

Loss hurts.
Loss loosens to expansion.
Loss frees for evolution.
Loss teaches that we are part, not the whole.
Loss makes us let go of "as is" for what "can be".
We mourn loss and are then comforted 
as we become part of more.

We mourn our sins, the loss of goodness.
We mourn the clashes and conflict of the nations, 
the loss of The Common Good.
We mourn the pain of the ill and suffering, 
their loss of health and vigor.
We mourn the plight of the marginalized, 
their loss of power and opportunity.

Jesus assures us that 
if we face into loss and mourning
and look to the kingdom come and coming,
we will be comforted, 
(Latin com=with and fortis=fortified).
We will be fortified and strengthened 
as we grow into unending more, 
God's evolving Creation, 
the kingdom so far and to come. 

Loss won't let us sit still.
It forces us to let go.
That opens us to evolve.
That is ultimately a blessed and happy thing.
Actually the word used in these scriptures 
for happiness is the Greek for the highest stage 
of  human happiness and well being.

Like the ancient Israelites, 
we mourn, we lament
the present condition of God's people,
of God's way and work in the world
as it is just now.
Like them in their desolation, 
we do not accept things as they are,
nor as final and fixed.
Like them we do lament and mourn 
the mess of the moment.
Like them we mourn 
that God's final kingdom 
has not yet come and that 
God's will is not yet done.
( See Isaiah 61: 1-11)

We are in the already kingdom come
and we are longing for its final and full realization - 
the coming (eschatological) kingdom of God. 

"Happily" we are fortified for the venture,
as we mourn present loss and evolve forward to fulfilment.

It's sort of like the old fashioned Irish Wake.
We're in the front parlor praying and weeping at the casket.
Then we go into the backyard and have one heaven of a party.

                               "GOOD GRIEF!"

                                 John Frank


        A warm (very warm here in DC) summer welcome 
                        to our first time visitors.
             Among them were  extensive groups from 
                     Romania and Turkmenistan.
        It's just great for all of us to be together here.

                             "frankly speaking"

                          spirituality for the street

      - is posted each Thursday well before the dinner hour,
        east coast USA time, at

      - is send out by automatic weekly on Fridays - sign up
        above right

      - past postings can be accessed at Blog Archive, left column bottom

Please consider sharing the above with family, friends, associates. Thanks!

                              SEE YOU NEXT WEEK