I was thinking about what to speak to you about, when I was listening to the radio and Harry Chapin's song "Cat's in the Cradle" came on. I was thinking about how everything comes full circle, especially when our children grow up and how this applies to many of us in our own lives.
My mother had been hospitalized last week with dehydration,too-high medication levels, and she began hallucinating that there were men digging up all the flowers in her front yard. This sent my poor sister into a similar state of anxiety, which resulted in Mom spending a week in hospital.
When she came home, we were all happy for her to just be able to enjoy the simple things of life that we all take for granted. A grilled cheese sandwich, a chocolate cupcake with extra icing and jimmies, time sit in a comfy chair and pet her cat. But in spite of our happiness, we realized how frail she had suddenly begun, and how we would take over the roles of caretakers for this tiny, bright, but now frail mother who depended on us all with childlike faith in our abilities. She smiled and told us we were good kids, which from her is high praise. She is a woman of simple tasts and few words, but they are always carefully chosen.
Mom had come home against well meaning hospital staff, that had suggested a nursing home instead. She was facing being transferred on Monday, and it was 4pm Friday afternoon, and her ability to walk on her own wasn't good. We asked about physical therapy and were told that they didn't do much of that, they had already made an assessment to move her out, and even had a list of residences in hand to show us that they had it all covered.
We balked, and were met with much resistance. We spent the weekend alternating in tears,frustration,and lots of prayer. We would need a miracle. On Sunday night we got our miracle. Sis called to say Mom was better, and despite some staff protest, we were going to bring her home.
Throughout her stay, she had wonderful care, but it got us thinking about how marginalized the elderly are in society. Our concern for Mom sliding into a depression after realizing she might never go home again seemed unimportant to some. Those simple pleasures we take for granted would be replaced by a new reality, and we wondered how she could ever sustain such a change at 90 years old.
I began to think how many of us have felt marginalized in society in periods of our own lives. Faith, sexuality, disabilities, race, lack of finances, age, ethnicity, we all have felt alone at some point in our lives. The question is have we made others feel that way in turn? And how do we bring these issues to the table when trying to strengthen our congregation and make it a place where all are welcome? That, my friends, is our challenge. The marginalized need a voice. Why not yours?
As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. Many have been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and can attest to its ongoing growth and change.