Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Victims, Aren't We All?"

Kind of a rough day today. Or at least... draining. Even Jenny's "nothin' much goin' on here" post leads us to kinda sad places. She asks what our favorite Johnny Depp movie is. Of course Edward Scissorhands comes up. We have a hard time watching that movie, even though we love just about everything Tim Burton has ever done. The thing is, Edward Scissorhands makes us cry. Every time. The movie is... melencholy--just to begin with. But this is compounded by the fact that one of the most deeply, intimately sad death scenes I have ever seen, or read for that matter, was performed by Vincent Price in the last role he played before his own death. It's almost too much.

It's a little bit like watching The Crow, which again, we don't do all that often. The Crow is a film based on the hauntingly Goth comic of the same name by J. O'Barr. It is a soul-wrenching difficult piece of catharsis born out of the tragic death of his girlfriend at the hands of a drunk driver. And so the movie is violently sad to begin with. But this is compounded by the fact that Brandon Lee, the actor who played the main character in the film, died on the set in a tragic accident. (As a side note... this tragedy is further proof that there is no such thing as a "safe" gun. Even one loaded with "blanks" can kill you.) Taken all together... it's almost too much.

So Jenny and I had this conversation over lunch today--which is to say after I'd gotten done with performing a funeral. There is a sense in which funerals are--well, I daren't say "easier" but... more simple, I guess, than a wedding. But in the end, they are just as emotionally draining. Funerals are sad to begin with, of course. It's never easy to see the adult children of a beloved father openly weeping as they eulogize him in front of family, friends, and their own children. This is compounded by witnessing the little daughter, the granddaughter of the deceased, watching her mother weep... soon openly crying herself, on the shoulder of her grandmother. Taken all together, it's almost too much. But I have a job to do. And I briefly find myself wondering how other pastors deal with this situation. How can they numb themselves enough to continue? And as I continue, my voice strange in my ears, thickened with emotion--I realize that I hope I never get numb.

We've all experienced pain, and so (barring somthing clinically amiss) we all can empathize with each other. And I believe that, far from weakening us, empathy serves to make us stronger.

Don't get numb.

God loves you,
Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

No comments: