Ask While You May

Commentary

The Title
Okay, okay…. I know that “may” should probably be “can.” But that wouldn’t rhyme with “say,” would it?! The title is a reminder that we should make the most of the relationships God gives us in this lifetime.

“Dispatch”
Dad was a theologian, writer, and editor. During much of his life, he wrote Bible study courses that were used by people for whom English is a second language. So, he was keenly aware that he needed to practice what he preached as an editor: “Don’t use big words when little words will do.”

This morning, for some reason, this random memory popped in my head. When speaking of killing insects, Dad always used the big word “dispatch” when he could have used the little word “kill.” Why did he do that? I assumed it was a bit of humor. But I never asked him. In itself, this is not an important question. But my failure to ask him points to something that is important….

Uncharted Memories
Lately, I have been working through painful memories throughout my life, but especially from the formative childhood years. I’m realizing that my parents tended to not discuss the emotional impact of tragic events. I’m told that wasn’t unusual for people of their generation. But it bled over to me in the way that I interact with loved ones to this very day. Often, I’m not curious — or don’t act on what curiosity I do have — about others’ emotional state. There’s much that I miss of all I could love, lament, or celebrate.

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