Beware the judge standing in the shadow of your own soul. He speaks with a whisper or a glance and time freezes … judgement has its full affect and the soul under this relentless glare has traveled a few steps closer to the edge.
A year ago this month I responded to a friends face book message with the following letter.
Feeling lost and broken … a letter to a friend
I received the following note today:
I’m feeling lost and broken and am just shedding tears this week but am showing strength on my face… reading tonight will be my grown up time after the mom in me can rest.
My oldest daughter has a play tonight …. she’s torn over her dad seeing someone & being there with this person.. It’s been hard on me, knowing this and hearing of his changes and the stranger I never knew but we were friends up until this January. I feel like an idiot but I’m dealing, telling myself … trying to make me grow up ! (again)
My reply may hold healing and encouragement for you as well so I share it here and invite you to apply it to your own wounded heart.
My Dear A.,
My heart agrees with you in the brokenness you feel as the heart of a friend is meant and made to do. There are no silver bullets to slay the beast that rages within and were there it would not be my wish for you. Hear my heart in this and know it is filled with compassion for the little girl I met 20 years ago now a woman grown and in no way regards your pain as something easily dismissed or disregarded. For the beast within is part of you and to slay it would strike a blow against a child of the Spirit that I know is who you are. The sense of this is not easily grasped and harder still when brokenness is fresh but my prayer for you is immersion in the nurturing grace found when driven deep inside your spirit by the untamed emotions whipped into a tempest by being both a mother and a wounded lover and friend. Our culture has denied a profound truth in it’s refusal to see with eyes of faith the reality of the human soul and it’s genesis in the mind and will of the Divine. But I know you and have heard in our many conversations an awareness of something more, something that transcends our human mind and understanding and though at times distant and obscured the reflection of God and the sparkle of His Spirit is clearly there! Know this my friend and allow what you are feeling now in all it’s ugly fullness to send you, lost as you feel, into the arms of His grace and He will sustain, heal and empower you to stand by your daughters side a whole and complete woman and mother.
The person that you knew as husband and friend who now appears a stranger changed in life and walking away may seem the cause of the tears that flow and no doubt the crossing of your paths and intertwining of your stories now rent in two will have its affect on the pond of your life. To the very edges every ripple travels but in the deep water, that is you, is a place you can rest and observe the surface of the pond while surrounded by peace and calm. Find that place my friend and travel there often till it has become home with all the warmth security and love that the word “home” is meant to engender. As certain as I am of this spiritual truth I am equally certain it is not reached by accident or apathy. It is the choice of your will to start a journey and to see it through to the end. It is an act of faith but an action is required or the destination and the reward of your momentary trials will be spent on the trivial trinkets of this life that neither nourish or satisfy. But when the choice is made and slow and deliberate steps taken a change occurs in the soul and spirit of the one so walking and they are reborn, self is discovered and the touch of God transforms them.
Transitions with Care
I hope this note finds you and your family well and enjoying the wonders of a new year.
2013 was a challenging year for my family and for me personally. Yet, as is so often the case, from the darkest valley comes the brightest of lights.
The year began with me flying to New Hampshire to spend the last 21 days of my father’s life with he and mom and then another month helping mom adjust to life after a 56 year marriage. It was as wonderful and as painful an experience as I have ever had. Mom and I were able to care for dad at home until his last breath and with family gathered around dad passed from this world on a cold February morning and was laid to rest a few days later just hours before New Hampshire was buried under more than 2 feet of snow. Being a ski patrol for over 30 years I knew dad was smiling as the snow fell.
Dad did not like to throw anything away including bills, bank statements, maps and magazines and a whole lot more so I spent the days prior to and following his death going through boxes that had not been opened in decades. I sorted, recycled, threw out and put on display pieces of my parents life together and in the process found that this was something I did well. The practical help and encouragement it provided my mom for her home to be sorted and de-cluttered was what she needed and it just seemed to make sense to me.
When the opportunity came to stage personal property auctions for local auctioneers I saw the fit and jumped in with both feet. One of the auctions I staged was for a man whose wife had passed a few months earlier and he was now facing the task of a required downsizing. But selling the collections of figurines she had gathered over their years together was not easy for him. So as I sorted and staged about 80% of the items in his home for an online auction I listened to the stories of their life together and watched a grieving husband slowly try and let go of the things while still treasuring the memories each item inspired. I was good at this and it felt good doing it. One auction included a garage packed so full that it had not been usable for many years. The owner met me in the morning to let me in. When he returned after lunch his first response was, “wow… I haven’t seen the floor of this garage in 10 years” The sale was successful and the family relieved of a major burden.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions then my services may be just what you need.
• Do you have a client, friend or loved one that has a room, garage, attic, storage unit, shop or whole house stuffed full of stuff that hasn’t been seen in years?
• Do you have a client, friend or loved one who is planning, out of necessity, to downsize and the thought of going through years of collected stuff causes them to keep postponing this needed transition?
• Do you have a client, friend or loved one who has recently moved into an assisted living or nursing facility and requires the income from a property sale to support the move?
• Do you have a client, friend or loved one who has reached the place where their small family business needs to be liquidated and the years of accumulated merchandise sold?
• Do you have a client, friend or loved one who needs freedom from the stress of stuff and a path toward simplification?
My name is Jim Genet and I can help. With 17 years of pastoral ministry and 13 years in the world of business operations I am uniquely qualified to assist your clients, friends or family by providing “Transitions with Care”. You can find a basic list of my services below. Give me a call and let’s begin a transition today.
Transitions with Care
Basic Services Provided:
Sort and stage personal property…
… for an estate sale, auction, yard sale or complete liquidation…
… in preparation for a downsize
… for the process of life evaluation and goal setting
… in order to provide a digital personal property inventory including photos, descriptions, and storage location.
… for a celebration of life event
Transition coaching that…
… honors the past but is not bound by it
… provides guidance and support in simplifying your life
… assists in self-evaluation and goal setting
Celebration of Life event:
… Items are sorted and staged to be viewed.
… Stories are told about the various items by family members and recorded
… Presentation … I will plan and lead in an evening of stories and memories while sharing the items found and displayed.