Category

Death/Dying

Not grim and not somber, this category wades into matters of death and dying with some observations about the big picture and details that sometimes don’t see the light of day!  Full of years, readers and viewers will find this category a good place to begin conversations and redeem what might otherwise seem to be an easily avoided part of life.

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What else is there to think about?

  Over the past week or so, I’ve been waiting for the coronavirus news to settle down. Here’s why: Whether out of prudence, trying to fill empty leadership niches or injecting trust and truth back into the emotional economy, leaders of all kinds have been filling my mailbox with assurances and information. I appreciate their thoughtfulness. This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, andMORE...

An abundance of caution

There’s a lot of caution going around now. Everywhere, it seems. As a preface for almost any announcement, caution-abundance carries the same amount of linguistic freight as the well-worn phrase, “We take (fill in the blanks) very seriously.” Assured by plentiful prudence, readers/viewers know that whatever they see/hear will be well-infused with the presumably admirable trait of caution. Lots ofMORE...

Viral Lent

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this year’s Lenten season seems especially essential, relatable and inviting of my spirit. Lent themes and emotions seem strongly connected to current events almost everywhere I look. Thoughts arising out of the *COVID-19 outbreak are a good example. Perhaps Lent has gone viral? Lent calls me to confess my sinfulness, to seek forgiveness and to hope dearly forMORE...

Winking out

Today I just want to share a sad part of growing older: Dealing with the loss of those near and dear. Specifically, those beloved elders from my past who seem to disappear suddenly, like twinkling stars that wink out without much of a trace. This has occurred to me earlier in life—teachers, friends and mentors who have died or descended into illnesses that prohibit communication with them. As IMORE...

Remembering who you are

When I’m down on myself—not fully appreciating who I am at this time in life—it’s usually because I’ve forgotten who I have been. Trying to claw my way out of the generalized anxiety that characterizes our society, I’m sometimes not able to rekindle my best self—a fully-functioning creature of God’s own hand. Some of that occurs because I am not fully connected to what God has accomplishedMORE...

Memories that never die

A few months ago, Liz, one of my former co-workers, died at a young age. This was one of those cases where “too soon for her to die” was true—an effervescent woman still perking along and inspiring others wherever she went. My initial grieving was compounded by the sadness of not having kept in touch over the years—lots of geographical distance. So I was not able to be part of the comfortingMORE...

Fragile lives

Every so often, I am struck by how fragile our lives can be. So many of life’s difficult times begin with a startling moment that changes everything. With sometimes little warning, the exquisitely intricate facets of daily living can disappear suddenly. Lines that have bound us tightly to others fray and snap. Normal health dissipates in the face of sobering test results. An accident snuffs outMORE...

“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”

First it was Ken who entered hospice. Then Kent. And just yesterday, the news came that Bill has been placed under the care of a local hospice program. In each case, this later stage in personal and medical care has followed years of the quiet agonies that come when dealing with disease. What has struck me in each of these cases is how family members have worked out of sight of most of ourMORE...

Obit-diving

At the edge of foodie-culture is the practice of “dumpster-diving.” What practitioners sensibly advocate is an enlightened approach to finding food that has been needlessly discarded, some of it into dumpsters. What’s fully rational about this idea: There is hope and nourishment in what’s at first-glance NOT a place to find useful sustenance. I think there’s a partial connection here to theMORE...

The zeitgeist of a hospital visit

One of the special privileges of older adult years is visiting folks in the hospital. Like funerals or memorial services, these visits can be exquisite times of spiritual depth—occurring at just the right “god-moment”—that might be hard to capture in words. Let me tell you about a recent hospital visit that might match similar experiences in your life. Perhaps these thoughts might help youMORE...

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Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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