Friday, December 07, 2007

There Is No Death

Life knew of Dee’s loss. I did not. So, when I discovered the complete text of a poem that I had previously known of only in part … I simply smiled a knowing smile and expected that Life would soon tell me why it was important that I mark the page in the book of poetry. Not more than an hour later, I read an Email from one of my dearest of friends, Carole, and she asked that I prayerfully keep Dee in my thoughts. For, just this Tuesday, she lost her Dad.

There was neither question nor hesitation to turn to the marked page, type the poem, and place it here … to encourage Dee’s heart … respond to Carole’s love for her friend … and provide yet another example of the wondrous workings of Life’s Spirit when we will but be available and responsive to its Voice.

Please accept this work by J. L. MCCREERY … my gift to Dee, Carole, and to You, my dear Reader.


There is no death! The stars go down
To rise upon some other shore,
And bright in heaven’s jeweled crown
They shine forevermore.

There is no death! The forest leaves
Convert to life the viewless air;
The rocks disorganize to feed
The hungry moss they bear.

There is no death! The dust we tread
Shall change, beneath the summer showers
To golden grain, or mellowed fruit,
Or rainbow-tinted flowers.

There is no death! The choicest gifts
That heaven hath kindly lent to earth
Are ever first to seek again
The country of their birth.

And all things that for growth or joy
Are worthy of our love or care,
Whose loss has left us desolate,
Are safely garnered there.

Though life become a desert waste,
We know its fairest, sweetest flowers,
Transplanted into paradise,
Adorn immortal bowers.

The voice of birdlike melody
That we have missed and mourned so long,
Now mingles with the angel choir
In everlasting song.

There is no death! Although we grieve
When beautiful, familiar forms
That we have learned to love are torn
From our embracing arms …

Although with bowed and breaking heart,
With sable garb and silent tread,
We bear the senseless dust to rest,
And say that they are “dead,”

They are not dead! They have but passed
Beyond the mists that blind us here
Into the new and larger life
Of that serener sphere.

They have but dropped their robe of clay
To put their shining raiment on;
They have not wandered far away …
They are not “lost” nor “gone.”

Though disenthralled and glorified
They still are here and love us yet;
The dear ones they have left behind
They never can forget.

And sometimes, when our hearts grow faint
Amid temptations fierce and deep,
Or when the wildly raging waves
Of grief or passion sweep,

We feel upon our fevered brow
Their gentle touch, their breath of balm;
Their arms enfold us, and our hearts
Grow comforted and calm.

And ever near us, though unseen,
The dear, immortal spirits tread …
For all the boundless universe
Is Life … there are no dead!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Your Life's Meaning

“Is this what gives meaning to your life?” A question that I have oft asked of myself. “Is the energy of this moment the defining power of your living?” “Is the music, inspiring your life’s dance, the melody that most honestly speaks the desires of your heart?” “Are you being true to all that is the precious core of You?”

I do not grade or rank the worth of the task or activity in which I am engaged. No, Dear Friend … I, instead, weigh the merits of my heart’s intention‘s in my engagement in any enterprise. And … only then … do I ascribe my own quiet appraisal of value in my endeavor.

I will not accept anger as my life’s meaning. Nor hate. Not even irritation. And certainly not malice. How dreadful I would feel if I felt that my life’s meaning could be defined as any one of those or their miserable cousins; bitterness, contempt, hostility, or vengefulness. I can not even consider carrying the burden of such as my daily baggage. For I opt, to the contrary, for a daily walk made lighter by the lifting spirit of a heart made glad by contemplation of all that is good. I am, you could say, made lazy by my addiction to easiness of spirit.

I write of these things today, in response to what I have recently seen and heard in the lives of some with whom I share my life path. I have witnessed the pain of their insistence on dwelling on all of those crippling voices of dark considerations. And I cannot bear the destructiveness of such a walk. Finding myself in proximity to such an environment of negative waste tears me down and renders me weak and useless. So I remind myself … as I refresh your memory … in the recollection of one of my favorite scriptural formulae:

“Whatsoever things are true;
Whatsoever things are honest;
Whatsoever things are just;
Whatsoever things are pure;
Whatsoever things are lovely;
Whatsoever things are of good repute;
If there be any virtue;
If there be any praise;
Think on these things.”
Philippians Ch4, V8

There you are! What, I ask you, could possibly be simpler? For how can we allow a seed of anger to be “planted” in our mind … and then ask why we are not reaping joy? Can we rationally expect peace to be the fruit of our allowing hatred to take root in our thinking? Does frustration and anxiety render a harvest of satisfaction and contentment? Please, My Dear Reader, permit me to suggest the beauty of the simplest and most rudimentary of formulae. Only cling to what you want to embrace as worthy of your life’s meaning. And gently turn your back on all of the world’s encouragements to devalue yourself with tabloid noise.

In the hope that you find a bit of encouragement in these considerations, I remain (as always) your loving and caring Friend and willing Servant.
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