Encircled

bravery, courage, Faith, family, grace, love, mercy, Redemption, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

I will go before you and level the exalted places. Isaiah 45:2

I dreamt I attended the funeral ceremony of a kind and giving man, a steadfast friend of our community. I suppose I’d seen the photos of others who attended, who shared their thoughts on being there.

The faces of the family left to live without him, the dignitaries who gave thoughts and tributes and other individuals there to witness the event and offer support.

I noticed the posture of some, shoulders slightly bent, carrying a burden and I noticed downcast faces on some who stood at the podium.

But, I saw strength in many; perhaps, they told of how this gentleman taught them to be stronger.

So, I dreamt that I was there and after the ceremony was over, one of the speakers approached me to say hello. It was then that we shared our own experiences of knowing the man who passed away.

It was then I shared,

He always spoke with the kindness and sincerity in hoping the best for me every time I had the chance to talk with him.

The listener listened with the same kindness as I added, “He was like a father to many, I believe.”

Every morning, I add thick circles around my prayers. One in particular might be circled until I’m gone.

Because when I think “no need” life shows me I could be wrong.

I’ve told a very few people on rare occasions that someone felt like a father to me.

It’s super personal and often uncomfortable to express that you wish you’d had your father a little longer or worse yet, that he had been a different person.

Now, I’m seeing why I dreamed that dream. Often, writing helps me unravel the causes. It wasn’t the FB photos of the funeral attendants, it was a thoughtful documentary about redeeming our days and the days we decide were all wrong.

Yesterday, I watched “Love, Tom”, a documentary about the life of songwriter Tom Douglas.

The story is told as his response to a younger man struggling who says beseechingly so in a letter to Tom.

You’d think he might not even respond.

After all, he’s famous, the recipient of many awards.

He lives in Nashville and is beyond the early angst of a creative’s struggle. I’ve commented on Instagram to writers when feeling a likemindedness…no reply. You realize they’re famous and you are not.

I’ve promised myself if I write again, a book more well-known or become a better known artist, I’ll engage with the curious and kind followers who simply want to be closer to my craft and me, the creative behind it.

Tom wrote the young songwriter close to giving up an authentic letter.

The letter became this documentary.

And, I suppose because he’s a creative he told some beautifully, tender and honest things about himself.

About redemption and about a sort of rethinking his father who struggled’s reputation.

I won’t spoil it for you. I hope you’ll watch it for more than a couple of reasons:

A well-known responding to another who feels invisible, a parent relating to a child, a child forgiving a parent and a creative who learned not to pursue creativity harder than he pursued the Creator.

Redemption, he suggests we keep after it until we’re gone.

Now, I see that the dream wasn’t really about the man laid to rest, it was about the other prominent person who listened when I expressed my feelings over the loss and with his response and his eyes, he agreed and together our grief was encircled.

More here:

Love, Tom

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