There are days when it seems harder than others to put on a happy face, don’t you agree? I don’t have a lot of those, so when I do, they usually are memorable.
I remember one such day when my dad was out of sorts. He was a business owner. Not the typical image of a “business owner” that comes to mind when you hear that description. His business was a Tallow Works. Do you know what that is? It’s a place that picks up dead animals from farmers and ranchers and meat scraps from butcher shops. All parts of those animals and scraps are processed. It’s a smelly business.
It’s devastating Beloved animals die Someone hauls them off
This is called a Haibun. It is a brief couple of paragraphs of prose, followed by a Haiku that adds dimension to the prose!
Oh, Lordy, Lordy!! My blog is supposed to share love, joy, peace, faith, and unity. How I got off on a kick of wanting to share various forms of poetry is all Dwight Roth’s fault! Blame him! He tried my Shadorma poetry and invited me to try his Haibun.
But he can’t be blamed for my morbid Haibun and photo today. My mind just went there after reading a post by someone who was recalling a sadness from their childhood. That day when Dad and I went to pick up a dead horse sticks in my memory because the horse was a child’s pet. It wasn’t like one of a herd of beef cattle or some old cow that got into the clover field, ate too much, bloated, and bit the dust!
My experiences with my dad, riding with him on weekends as we went to various farms to pick up the dead animals, usually were not sad times. I treasured one-on-one time with Daddy, and I was happy to get that time under whatever circumstances! The death of animals didn’t seem morbid to me. It was just part of the cycle of life! You know – like egg to tadpole, froglet to frog!
But on that particular Saturday, the animal’s young owner was there, crying as Dad hauled her beloved horse into the truck and we drove away. The horse did not represent the cycle of life. It was too young, and so was its owner! That was a day when it was harder to put on a happy face, you know?
This weekend Bob & I are headed to my brother-in-law’s funeral. He was 86. He led a good life. He was a believer who knew where he was headed when he left this earth. But, he had just had a knee replacement – just a week before – and he thought he had a lot of years left to enjoy the greater mobility that knee would give him. However, it is not our privilege to count our days!
Dying is, indeed, part of the cycle of life!
“Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
— John 11:26
It’s the life cycle Beloved animals die Are they in Heaven?
Embrace Questioning! Do we embrace all questions? Like, “Are you stupid?”
No, it’s not questions, But the act of questioning That deserves embrace.
Not all questions are Developed with pure motives. Embrace those that are!
Embrace a pure heart Full of inquisitiveness. Ask because you care.
When you meet someone Ask their name and remember – Use it lovingly.
Ask about their life. Listen with sincere interest. Listening’s a gift.
Questioning’s one thing; Listening is another. They go hand in hand.
When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?
Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.
What a desolate looking man! What must he be saying to God? What questions would you be asking?
What does Job ask God? “He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”
God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)
God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.
Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.
Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.
The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything.
Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”
How does this story relate to your life and mine? Have you ever questioned why life was throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?
Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?
This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.
Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.
Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!
No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.
Embrace a pure heart Full of inquisitiveness. Ask because you care.
Don’t question, “Why you?” Instead ask, “What can I do?” “Can I be of any help?”
Your attitude counts. Humility is the key. Embrace questioning!
God is good. All the time! Even to the Jobs of this world! Be patient in love. Your pay raise is coming!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek Got any questions?? See ya tomorrow.
I just needed a diversion today away from politics and religion and anything serious. So, I decided puppies were a great way to get my head cleared and put a smile on my face. Don’t you agree? A little dab of puppy does it!
Today at d’Verse, De Jackson, asked us to write a Quadrille poem (exactly 44 words) with the word dab in it.
How about you? Do you have a favorite pup picture to cheer me? Or a favorite puppy story? Time to share!!
In my journal yesterday, I created a six stanza Haiku. It’s where I’m comin’ from on this day when I delivered Bob (my sweet husband of 58 years) into the hands of a surgeon. It’s a relatively straight-forward procedure… an angiogram to determine any heart issues that were not detected with the x-rays and EKGs. Bob is in good hands… and I am here in the hotel room relaxing:
What is Heaven like? I can only imagine. I see glimpses here.
The help of a friend The love of dear family Colors of sunrise
The pureness of snow Unconditional pet love Hidden surprises
Today a good friend of ours Is having to say good-bye To her furry companion Such days make me cry
The doggy’s name is Hannah. She’s been a faithful friend. Companionship and a love – Giving comfort to the end
I wrote this poem for my friend, Fran, as a comfort as she sees Hannah off on her final journey. Bon Voyage, dear pup. You’ve been a treasured friend for over 15 years. You’ve earned you eternal reward!
I don’t have to understand In order to believe. I just have to trust – And know it’s okay to grieve.
When tragedy strikes – Like the death of a friend – I don’t have to comprehend Why my friend’s life must end.
I can just believe There’s a heaven and a hell. My friend will ascend To eternity to dwell.
In heaven are the ones Who lived by the Cross. They accepted God’s grace, So their death is not loss.
There are people and pets In that paradise up high. I don’t have to understand – Just anticipate the sky!
Rest in Peace, Sweet Hannah. Your cross to bear has ended – Your life you shared and blended. Your soul to heaven ascended.
Have a blessed Saturday. Say a prayer for my friend, Fran.
These pictures below are from a book by Cynthia Rylant titled, “Dog Heaven.” It was a gift to us from the Colorado State Veterinary Hospital staff after our beloved Boston, Angela, died following a two year bout with cancer.
And thank God there are fields for romping in Heaven.
See ya round the bend. (Do you have a pet waiting for you in Heaven?)
The Reason for the season Is not always clear. Today as I was decorating, This message caught my ear.
Time to decorate For the coming of Jesus. It’s Holiday Time.
Time to decorate The foyer and entryway; Put up Christmas wreaths.
Time to decorate Dining room and kitchen, too. Poinsettia in place.
Time to decorate Living room and outside, too. Hang lighted snowflake.
Time to decorate For the coming of Christmas Where is the manger?
Is Jesus in your decor?
I can decorate. The reason for the season Must be apparent.
Look carefully at that picture. Santa is back there… But in front of him is a clay manger scene. It looks pretty primitive. That’s because it is! Out son made this as an art project in Sunday School when he was about 6 years old. He’s now 55.
Do you keep such works of art and take them out each year to treasure the memories?
It is a case from a friend who visited from Africa – and in the case are these darling manger scene figures made from grasses:
When the Christmas decoration boxes come up from the basement, with them come so many memories. This is a real egg with a window cut out by my dear mother-in-law, Laura Belle Beekman. She painted it red, decorated it, and added a musical angel to the center of it. It was my Christmas gift from her in the early 60’s, shortly after Bob & I were married. With her Faberge’ style eggs, she comes alive again – and lives in our Christmas decor.
When I hang this ornament on our tree each year, my Hillsborough, California kindergarten class comes alive. This one with our kitty, was the sample I made as my students were creating theirs – with a picture of themselves on their ornaments. One of those students, Heidi, still has hers. She posted it on FaceBook last week. What a treasure! Heidi is now 55!!
How are you doing with your holiday decorations? Have you put up a tree? Or do you have a Menorah? Or an Advent Wreath? Tell me about your decorating fun this time of the year.
And meantime, click on the link below and enjoy two of my favorite singers singing one of my favorite Christmas songs.
Merry Christmas is coming… Enjoy your decorating! And don’t forget the REASON for the SEASON!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek