Love never dies

“Love never dies.” —1 Corinthians 13:8.

phyllis raney  great friend and teacher

phyllis raney great friend and teacher

I have heard this passage from 1 Corinthians about love so many times; but when I heard it this Sunday directly from our friend Paul and our preacher Michael McCain, I was moved to tears. I have told people who are grieving that the love they have for and from their loved one is still there and never dies.

I don’t understand it. It is a mystery. I know I look at pictures of my friends and loved ones who have died, my brother and my grandparents, and I can feel their love as I send my love to them. Frederick Buechner and Henri Nouwen tell us that our bodies die, but our mutual love somehow returns to God and is kept for all eternity. If you are a mystic, you have no difficulty understanding this. If you are a person who comprehends mainly by rational thinking, this may be a difficult concept.

Why did this passage so move me on Sunday? As I grow older, I have been obsessing about how I will miss friends and family members when we become separated by death. Suddenly I know in my heart that the love we have for each other will always endure. Our love for them is ongoing, as is their love for us. We will never be lonely. I believe that in some mysterious way this love never dies and is carried forward to transforming effect in ourselves and in the universe.

Joanna Joannaseibert.com

adventfront copy.png

Release party!!!!!!!!!!!

Come and get a signed copy of the new book

Just in time for the holidays

A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany

The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter

Both are $18

All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast

Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227

10 to noon, Saturday September 14, 2019

RSVP joannaseibert@me.com


Death and Relationships

“We are given each other in trust. I think people are much too wonderful to be alive briefly and gone.” —Marilynne Robinson.

raw pixel . on unsplash

raw pixel . on unsplash

When I talk with spiritual friends who have experienced the death of a loved one, I remind them that the God of my understanding does not give us an amazingly loving relationship with someone else and then abruptly take it away. Death is not a period at the end of a sentence but more like a comma. The relationship still goes on.

Our loved ones continue in relationship with us, but in a way that we don’t yet understand. We can sometimes feel their presence. We often intuit the reality of their prayers. Frederick Buechner has written in his book, A Crazy, Holy Grace (Zondervan, 2017), about doing active imagination with those we still love who have died. We can converse with them in the silence of our mind; but often we merely feel their presence, supporting and loving us just as they did when they were alive.

I also remind friends that those we love are now with us at all times—beside us—again, in some form we do not understand. When they were alive, we were present with them only when we saw them physically. They are now always with us in a closer relationship than we can explain.

Joanna. Joannaseibert.com

adventfront copy.png

Release party!!!!!!!!!!!

Come and get a signed copy of the new book

Just in time for the holidays

A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany

The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter

Both are $18

All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast

Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227

10 to noon, Saturday September 14, 2019

RSVP joannaseibert@me.com


Gibran: On Children, Steady Bow, Smorgasbord

“Your children are not your children …

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

—Khalil Gibran,“On Children” in The Prophet (1923).

the prophet.jpg

This may be some of the best advice about relating to our children we can find. Parents are to be the steady or stable “bow.” Our children do not belong to us. They are the most important guests we will ever have in our home.

Another piece of wisdom came to us from a counselor, Phyllis Raney, who led a parenting class at our church. She told us our job was to provide the best smorgasbord of possibilities of experiences for our children to sample. What they choose, however, is up to them. We are to be the best possible providers of opportunities for them to experience; but we cannot control their decision as to what they become interested in.

We have three children, and as parents we had busy lives as physicians at a children’s hospital. We wondered how to give quality individual time to each of our children. At the birth of our second child, my mother-in-law gave me a book, Promises to Peter (Word Books, 1974), by Charlie Shedd. We read in it about taking each child out to dinner one night a week. We let the child choose the restaurant, within reason. So, one night a week, usually Monday, was “date night” with one of our children. It was a gift to concentrate on letting that child tell his or her story without distractions, and to appreciate how much you loved him or her.

We also went to many medical meetings each year and tried to take one child with us, again hoping to spend quality time one on one. This was one more offering on the smorgasbord.

Our children are older now with children of their own. It is easier to be the steady bow.

The steady bow image has now also become an image for our relationship for God. We learned about it as we tried to raise our children. Now it is teaching us more about how God cares for us. The smorgasbord has also become the image of the innumerable ways God has provided for us to learn more about this One who so loves us like a parent.

Joanna joannaseibert.com

Release party!!!!!!!!!!!

Come and get a signed copy of the new book

Just in time for the holidays

A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany

The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter

Both are $18

All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast

Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227

10 to noon, Saturday September 14, 2019

RSVP joannaseibert@me.com

adventfront copy.png