Kicking off the Comforter
Today began with the funeral of a wonderful young man who had worked at our church as a recreation associate. Craig Hendrickson was a larger-than-life guy who made anyone feel relaxed in his presence. He was fun. He was light-hearted. He was devoted. He was a fighter. He struggled with Hodgkins Lymphoma for several years and always said he would play until the whistle blew. The whistle blew for Craig last Wednesday. This morning hundreds of friends and family gathered to celebrate the story of Craig.
I’m an observer. Especially of others. Throughout the funeral, I observed those gathered in the sanctuary. Some were crying.Some were putting their best chin forward but it was trembling as it fought to keep the tears at bay. There were distant looks as individuals were lost in their own memories and experiences with Craig.
I saw two or three husbands with arms around their wives shoulders, patting and rubbing them gently as they comforted them and reminded them that they were not alone.
I was sitting with four youth whom I had met beforehand so we could sit together. Most had not been to a funeral before. Most were dealing with the death of someone they knew for the first time. Someone they loved. Someone who was too young to die. I sat with my arm around their shoulders to comfort them.
I had a moment of realization that I am not comfortable with being comforted. I don’t know how to receive comfort or care. I could not imagine having someone sitting next to me, with his arms around my shoulders, being strong for me. It seems so foreign, so uncomfortable. The intimacy of the situation is something that creates fear in me.
I am so much better at being the comforter. The comforter is in control. The comforter is selfless. The comforter is not vulnerable. The comforter is not weak.
I resist a comforter. I resist the Comforter.
I embrace the Forgiver, the Savior, the Creator, the Holy and Anointed One, but the Comforter is a name I’m not so comforted by.
Maybe I love the Trinity so much because it means I’m not alone with just One. Maybe I can just go unnoticed…..