Death is a mystery.
Life and death have been closely intertwined as I have thrown my heart and soul into The Death Dialogues Project over the past couple of year.
Creating and feeding this project has brought so many magical glimpses that I may otherwise not have experienced.
I'd like to say we run this project on a shoe string budget, but in actuality there is no budget.
So when we get warm and positive feedback that people are getting so much from listening to the podcast and attending our events and even our social media posts– it fuels the energy behind the project.
One bit of magic happened after tracking down the author of a piece The Day I'll Finally Stop Grieving and a few other beautiful pieces that came before me on grief.
Fast-forward to discovering that John Pavlovitz was actually a Methodist minister.
Was being the operative word because he now is a rogue-internet-sensation after being ousted from the church for his stands on LGBTQ and all other human inclusiveness in the church.
See, my mom and brother whose deaths have been a large part of our mission were life long active liberal Methodists.
In fact, much of what I have read of John's writings could have been written by my brother.
Sparing you the longer version, let me say that I have had hypocrisy radar on high alert from a very young age, which had kept me from being able to reconcile what I heard in churches with a loving God.
Messages of hearing how people of "other" beliefs and lifestyles would burn in hell never sat well with me as a child-- as I imagined the paintings of Jesus surrounded by children.
Listening to how people hid behind religion to share messages of judgment and hate has been something I have never been able to personally reconcile with the loving God these same people would speak of.
Discovering John's work and hearing a person of God preach inclusion and compassion and, better yet, seeing the following his message has attracted has given me a renewed hope for those of Christian faith.
This personal dialogue is much deeper and wider, but suffice it to say that my connection with John has been a healing elixir.
So much so that I've offered to host John and his family to bring his message to New Zealand.
We can only hope.
Here is our conversation: