I want to thank the people of Dayspring for your love and support around the death of my father, John E. Murphy, Jr. I am deeply grateful for your understanding and prayers, your cards and condolences. I especially want to thank Rev. Chuck Winkler for filling in for me on my second Sunday, and Rev. Michael Kelley and our church secretary, Jill Moyer, for going the extra mile for me in my dad’s final days. You all allowed me to be present to my father and family during that precious time, and I am profoundly grateful.
Now begins the process of mourning.
“Blessed are those who mourn,” begins the Second Beatitude, “for they shall be comforted.” No one is a stranger to grief. Grief is the pain we experience because of some loss. Whether the loss is experienced because of death, divorce or distance – or the loss of a dream – loss produces pain. Mourning is what we do with our grief.
I find comfort and strength in these words from a prayer by DeWane Zimmerman:
If so much that is precious
can be so quickly lost,
Let me cherish my present relationships
The love I can no longer give –
to this one who has died –
help me, O God, to give
to those who are alive.
Make my compassion deeper,
my sympathy wider,
and let me not be blind
to all that is good and lovely now.
This congregation knows all too well the sting of loss. With you, I still mourn the tragic death of Dr. Jane Tews. And I know, of course, that each one of you has experienced profound personal loss. I am privileged to be on this journey with you. Thank you for sharing in my own grief. I hope to be present for you in your times of need as well.