The other day I was listening to a movie review by Bobby Maddex over at Ancient Faith Radio. I usually just listen to the music there, but occasionally I’ll listen to the podcasts. More often than not, I don’t finish them due to time constraints. This particular podcast stopped me in my tracks. The movie Bobby reviewed (Lars and the Real Girl) sounds a bit perverse (and I’m not sure if I’ll watch it), but that is not what grabbed my attention. In this review, Bobby describes the recent loss he and his wife experienced when his son died in his wife’s 18th week of pregnancy. He details the amazing support he and his wife received from their friends, family and parish.
Instead of just listening to a few minutes of the podcast, I found myself listening to every last word as it touched me deeply. Nearly 30 years ago, my wife and I lost our first son to a stillbirth and we could identify with their loss. We received support from a few friends, but we lived in denial for many months afterwards. In his podcast, Bobby explained the need we have for community and how his friends and parish gave them tremendous support. I wrote Bobby to tell him thanks for taking the risk to share his personal life with others as he makes some very valuable points. People in pain don’t want to be ignored and left alone. Yes, they need some private time, but they also need to experience the warmth of human compassion from their friends and family in times of crisis and sorrow. St. Paul wrote: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). This is what the family of faith is supposed to be all about.
In this vein, I want to pass on a couple of prayer requests. One is for a new friend of mine who goes by the handle Rightwingprof and has been maintaining Central Pennsylvania Orthodox. In the past few weeks he has been in hospice care. Like me, he is a re-vert to the Orthodox Church and has a very interesting testimony (page down at that link to read it). One of his passions is singing in the choir and he has posted some beautiful examples of his parish choir up at You Tube. Among some other great writing at his blog, he now shares some excellent cancer tips. Rightwingprof is the one who inspired me to start blogging.
Yesterday, I heard from my former pastor in Arizona who is now retired and living in Texas. He sent me this video clip interview that was broadcast on a Houston TV station regarding a seminary classmate who is also his current pastor, but is now dying from cancer.
In your charity, please remember Fr. John, Rightwingprof, their friends and families in your prayers.