What I’m Thinking: Loss and Hope

I’m traveling during the next couple of weeks. My thoughts, rather than holding to a Scripture text, are on some people we grieve at Church of the Holy Cross this month.

Here’s a transcript:

I confess it. I’m not thinking about a Scripture passage coming up in the Revised Common Lectionary. I will be traveling for the next couple of weeks. I’ll be at the General Synod of the United Church of Christ the end of this week and into the following week, then I will be traveling on to the east coast, to annoy, I mean visit, family and friends there. I will be back at Church of the Holy Cross the first Sunday in July.

I am thinking about my colleague, the Rev. Ron Kent, and wishing him well as he leads worship at Church of the Holy Cross these next two Sundays. Thank you so much, Ron, for your wisdom and your leadership.

I am thinking, however, about two people whose celebrations of life we observed this past weekend and indeed, this Monday. Blanche Maeda sang with the church choir for years and years and years. Christianity was a second faith to her, one that she chose in adulthood. And Karl Kawahara. Both of them were teachers, but Karl was raised in the Christian faith, lived it with joy, with wonder, and with an indomitable spirit until he passed to his Maker – to Blanche’s Maker, to our Maker – just about six days after she did.

These seasons of loss: they come to us all. They come to us as members of families. They come to us to us as members of circles of friendship, of communities. They come to us as members of the Church.

We already miss – we will continue to miss – Blanche and Karl and so many others who went before them. So many others that we know will some day pass in their time.

We miss them, however, with a sense of the Christian hope and of Christian promise. That this season, as deeply painful as it is, is a season, not an eternity. That eternity awaits, and eternity comes with reunion, with new joys, with in fact relationships that only continue to deepen, to grow, and to blossom in ways that right now we simply cannot know.

This is a season of loss for some, but an eternity of new joys awaits.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below – I’d love to hear from you.

The next edition of What I’m Thinking will be July 8.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on June 16, 2019

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  1. by Lorri Taniguchi

    On April 12, 2022

    Hi Reverend Anderson,

    I happened to stumble upon this previously taped and published message that you did back in 2019 after you officiated Karl’s and my Mom’s celebration of life services.

    We thank you for your presence, love and support especially after her passing. You coming to the care facility was a beautiful send-off that I was so happy that we were able to have you do. I recall that morning like it just happened yesterday…. we got the phone call from the nurse around 2am in the morning saying that she was throwing up and her blood pressure was not very high. We rarely ever had a phone call from Hale Anuenue so I knew it was serious and although we would get phone calls during the day when she was in a residential foster care type care home, and cringed every time that it may be bad news… this one was different. We quickly decided to fly out on the first flight. My son and I had to make reservations and get to the airport and it seemed like every minute was magnified. We did get the sad news of her passing while standing in the TSA line to get through Security for the 1st flight to Hilo. We happened to sit up in the front of the cabin on the 2 person side. As we were flying in = it was picturesque like everything was in slow motion… the flyover takes seconds but we saw a little fishing boat departing out from the Suisan entrance /exit to Hilo Bay. It truly was a beautiful sunrise morning with billowly pillow-like clouds and like how I recalled movies on Easter Sunday… with such a soft glow on the horizon. It was like Mom was on that boat leaving us to on her new journey onward… I just couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful send-off that’s for sure for Mom…. It was spectacular and as sad as we were, we were so touched at having that beautiful memory of the flight in to Hilo… It calms our soul… and now that we have completed the many months of preparing our home for sale… we are blessed that you have continued to support us — our family and my departed parents who have left us with many items that we were able to share with you and others. This Easter is a special one for us as our first one in celebrating the loving support and work of many ho helped us directly and indirectly where we finally able to complete and sell our home. Yes, it is sad to no longer have physical ties to Hilo, but we still have many friends and friendships in Hilo — many with ties to the church, the Kondo’s, the Sadayasu’s, and so many others… who we will continue to be in touch with. Thank you for all that you do in helping all of us through many of the challenges that we all face with the war, COVID, etc. With much appreciation, we will donate just a small amount, but something from our heart. 🙂 lorri

  2. by holycrosshilo

    On April 13, 2022

    Lorri, I cannot come up with the words to thank you for this. You’ve given us a sunrise we didn’t have before, and it has gone to my heart. May God continue to bless you through these ties of friendship and through signs of grace. Peace and joy to you,

    Pastor Eric

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