Tag Archives: bewilderment

Sad Prayers of Remembrance

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 10, 2016

poppies-in-sunlight

Sad Prayers of Remembrance

The past two weeks have certainly been a roller-coaster of emotion. The Cubs. (Need I say any more, as a life-long Cubs fan?) The United States election. (Whatever your position, or your candidate, this long election cycle has been particularly nasty.) And now, November 11, Veterans Day, right after the anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 9 and 10.

I don’t want to belittle either—or any of these feelings of sheer joy and excitement, or these raw, searing emotions of grief, bewilderment and stunned silence.

Remember. We remember.

However—just in case anyone is wondering why we observe Veterans Day on November 11, we need to go back to Armistice Day, the cessation of hostilities ending World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

Called originally Armistice Day, it is also known as Remembrance Day, when those in the Commonwealth countries (formerly or still associated with Great Britain) remember those military personnel who died in the line of duty. And, just as here in the United States, red poppies are symbols of remembrance. (From Lt. Col.John McCrae’s poem “On Flanders Field.”)

We remember. Many remember or commemorate the horrific happenings of Kristallnacht, where there was such wanton violence against Jews throughout Germany and Austria. Kristallnacht, or “Night of the Broken Glass” was when the isolated intimidation and persecution of Jews in the Nazi-occupied areas became pointed, systematic and crushing. A sea change moment.

Veteran’s Day here in the United States is a day to commemorate all veterans. We pray for all those who have died, in uniform. All over the world. They all had mothers. They all were babies, and young children, and had hopes and dreams and fears. No matter where they came from, or where these people served their military forces. God bless them all. God bless their memory. And, may God’s blessing and care rest on all those who remember, today, too.

@chaplaineliza

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Day #20 – Stranger Things Did Happen Today!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 11, 2015

happy jumping dolphins

Day #20 – Stranger Things Did Happen Today!

I have mentioned before how I can fall into conversation at the drop of a hat. My children and husband shake their collective heads in bewilderment, sometimes. It just, sort of, happens. It isn’t like I go out of my way and plan it! Just happens.

As I read today’s suggestion, I couldn’t help but think this morning was a perfect example. I have a state certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. As a result, if I want to remain in good standing as someone with a CADC, I need to take a certain number of continuing education classes during the year. Each year. Actually, the classes are excellent refreshers. I do appreciate them.

I attended one this morning. Accordingly, I arrived at the place. (A synagogue in another Chicago suburb.) Round tables were set up all around the large room where the presentation was being given. I sat down a couple dozen feet from the presenter. A woman was already seated at the table I chose, and we immediately began talking. (I could tell she was rather introverted, but she began to talk, readily enough.)

As several minutes went by, three more people came in. Seated themselves at “my table.” It only took a minute or two, but five ladies—who had never met each other before—were involved in fairly deep communication. It helped that we were all there for a common purpose. Plus, all involved in a helping profession. Several clinicians, one administrator, and me.

There were others—dozens of others—in the large room. I am often able to “feel” the “temperature” of a room, in a social sense. This room definitely felt warm and friendly! True, there were some attendees who did know one another. However, some were in the same boat as all the people at my table. We talked to each other. Of course, we were encouraged to, by the presenter. However, quite a lot talking buzzed around the tables even before she told us to talk to one another as an ice breaker!

I went one step further. The presenter had reached the halfway point in her talk. She had a tickle in her throat, and tried to clear it. Meanwhile, she asked someone to read a handout, a meditation that was included in everyone’s folder. Her eyes fell on me, and I spontaneously raised my hand. Rose to my feet. The presenter introduced me, off the cuff.

Thus, I read the meditation. (I do read well, by the way.) I could tell that everyone was surprised. Some were pleased. A few asked me whether I was a “plant” in the audience because I read with such feeling and compassion. (Yes, it was an introspective meditative reading.)

Did I make myself useful today? I think, yes. Did I go out of my way to talk to people? Be friendly? Absolutely. Even after the training, in the hallway? Yes, there, too. Wherever there are people. It’s a human thing. A feeling thing. God willing. God, help each person on their jobs. Help them know their job is a worthwhile job. Help me, too, on a regular basis. Amen!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .