My thoughts have been steeping. Now they are ready…
Disclaimer: some of the following thoughts may seem harsh, unloving, and disrespectful; I do not mean them that way. I am simply recording my thoughts and feelings.
A great man died this week. Jerry Falwell. He accomplished many things in his lifetime. I went to his school because when my parents didn’t have a church for a short period of time they watched him on television (well at least that’s how I knew about the school). I hated my time at Liberty. I did not want to finish college there. I did, however, finish. I left after graduation and what a sense of humor God has, because the moment I left, I wanted to come back to lynchburg. In fact, I could not wait to get back; I missed it! Well, it took over a year to make it back, and in that time I moved to upstate new york, but I’ve been in lynchburg for almost two years now. And the kicker? I’m working at Liberty and getting my masters degree (MBA) through the school. Ironic ironic ironic. Or, maybe just God’s plan?
Personally, I’ve never really agreed with how Dr. Falwell did or said many things. I always respected the man, sometimes because I had to, but mostly because he did deserve respect. I always forget that he accomplished SO MANY things. All I focused on were the same sermons each week year after year, the stupid things that sometimes he was recorded saying, and the way he would honk and “run over” students on campus. I think I was bitter; I think I still am bitter.
I always think I know what is best, that I have the best logical thoughts about things, that if people just did things the way I thought about them, they would all be better off. Most often these thoughts only cause dissension inside my head; I would come off as the most arrogant bitch ever if I vocalized all of my thoughts. I know these thoughts are my flesh in all its glory. I also know that they do not rule my life, or they do not have to rule my life because I am given all the grace I need to follow Christ and not my flesh.
All of this to say: how do I mourn the death of a man who I respected, but did not necessarily like? I have been struggling with feeling guilty about not having more emotion over his passing. It did not shock me or come as a surprise. I actually thought it quite incredulous that he was asking God for 15 more years. not that God could not give him many more years, but that he was not (visibly) doing anything to healthily extend his life. Because of my job, I was able to periodically be in meetings with him. I always thought he looked so worn. It was somewhat easy to hide on TV, but up close he did not look well. but, besides all of this sort of talk, I am still brought back to my question.
I never want to be perceived as doing something because it is the “Christian” thing to do, or people will talk if it is not done. Therefore, I have never really liked doing something because everyone else is doing it, or someone is expecting me to do it. I’m not a fan of assemblies or mass organized functions. Actually, I usually avoid those “expected” gatherings just to make a point. This causes me to struggle with even wanting to go to Dr. Falwell’s funeral.
But, I am wrong. I need to suck it up and realize that everything is not about me, or even my feelings in certain situations. I need to pay my respect and say goodbye to Dr. Falwell. He is one of the great leaders of our time, and I have been privileged to be around and experience his life. It isn’t about making a statement against, it is about coming together for. God blessed this man, his life, and his ministry because he was committed to the Lord. How much I need to learn from the example of being wholly committed, however much I may disagree with his stance on issues.
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I did not attend the funeral, however, I believe this post was my way of saying goodbye and paying respect to his memory.