Pathways through Lent

In Memory of Emily

First Tuesday of Lent

Deuteronomy 9:4-12 Psalms 45, 47, 48 Hebrews 3:1-11 John 2:13-22

On January 19, 2011, I lost a dear client to cancer at the age of 62. She fought bravely for two years before succumbing at home, surrounded by her three adult sons (especially poignant for me as a mother of three sons.)

Over the last two years I have learned many lessons from Emily as she struggled in her relationship with God (at one point she told me she was mad at him). She managed to travel to Chile during their big earthquake, only to wonder if the darn earthquake was going to kill her instead! She traveled to Turkey to see her son marry and to meet her daughter-in-law’s family. She had led a life of social justice and work in support of those less fortunate. My heart is heavy for her and yet I am so happy to get to be part of her sons’ lives as I help guide and mentor them as they move on from this tragic and irreplaceable loss.

Here are some of the lessons that I have learned from Emily:

Live life as fully as you can, NOW

Cultivate your spiritual relationship with God, but understand that sometimes it will be challenged (just as Jesus cried out on the cross)

Treasure the special and simple moments equally (I remember imagining this Christmas what it must be like to know that this was your last Christmas)

Don’t give up…much is possible in your life (perhaps in different ways than you imagined)

Learn to surrender when it’s time to surrender into asking for help, letting go of the unimportant, and being truly present with where you are.

During this contemplative time of Lent, I hope you’ll say a prayer for Emily and her family, and consider some of the lessons that she gave me.

-Lisa Kirchenbauer


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