Tuesday, December 05, 2006

does Hope ever wake you in the night?

This is my brother, Mark Palmer. He lived and breathed hope. He is no longer with us in this earthly realm and I miss him so much. His life inspired mine. In a lot of ways we were nothing alike. And yet, in the things that mattered we were spot on. I want my life to honor his. I want the needs of his family to be the concern of our greater community. Mark was an annointed teacher, words meant something to him and he expressed them. Here is a taste on his teaching on hope:

"When it seems that hopefulness is the least appropriate response in this situation, let it rise up even more. Whisper your hope when you lie down at night; scream your hope when you wake in the morning. Live your hope as if it is the one and only thing that sustains you in this ravaged world. You will not be disappointed."

This is my friend, Chad Canipe. He was an artist within the Kingdom of God. A man of incredible integrity and character. The depth of his life rubbed off on mine. Chad cared about the corners of our world where most of us overlook. I greatly miss having coffee with him and letting him teach me. We lost Chad so suddenly, I am still not sure what to make of that. He lived his life on purpose, here is a taste of that:

"I'm a mixture of corporate world minion, cultural creative, and—yes—ordained minister who has chosen to exit the realm of paid, professional clergy and enter the world where most people live. I start grassroot communities of faith in the city and offer myself as a spiritual director of sorts for a funky mixutre of folks: normal, abnormal, artists, activists,
askers-of-the-big-questions, thinkers, doubters, seekers, lapsed Christians.
I'll spare you the rest of the pretentious sounding labels and just tell you that I am a husband, father, and resident of Norwood in the heart of the Cincinnati metro area. My wife and I love the city, having recently chosen a "reverse flight" from the booming suburbs to plant ourselves in the urban soil of Cincinnati."

My niece, Kate, was 21 months old, she was not supposed to die. That's not how God intentioned it, but our world is not safe and it is deeply broken. She was like a butterfly, free and full of flight. She yet graces us with her presence somehow, our community will never be the same. This Sunday our community will visit her gravesite to grieve some more, that healing would knit our hearts together through the Holy Spirit.

This morning at 3:30 I awoke in prayer with these things on my mind. My thoughts are filled with grief and yet so much hope. I honor those who have passed to the realm of the fullness of the Kingdom of God, I yet live in the broken world being made whole. Advent this year means so much to me, the coming of the Hope of Israel is a trumpet blast that awakens me in the night. We grieve and we suffer but we are not alone. He is Immanuel, God with us. He invaded this world with the coming of the Kingodm of God and it is all around us even now. Look for it, seek it, taste it, breathe it . . . its full of life. Light is shining in darkness, hope is overcoming. There is a manger full of life, won't you come?


No comments: