Blood, Sweat and Tears remembered

March 21, 2012

 In 1969, the rock band “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” hit the charts with a song entitled “And When I Die.” While the song did not hit  the very top, the brief research I have been able to complete indicates that it made it all the way to #2.

  It was a good song, maybe a great song. I have actually quoted it in a sermon on occasion (hey, I’m a Presbyterian Pastor, in case you did not know). The chorus of the song, which I think reflects a hidden theology that many people carry, reads :

And when I die, and when I’m gone,
There’ll be one child born
In this world to carry on,
to carry on.

  Now, I say that the chorus reflects a theology (or belief, if you prefer), what I mean is that a number of people have this sense that when someone dies, someone else is born to take their place. It’s not reincarnation, it probably has something to do with our not wanting to fully let go of the person who has-as I like to say-been “promoted to the Church triumphant.” (The Church militant is that expression of God’s people who are alive today, loving and serving Him. The Church triumphant is that gathering of those who have died and celebrate God’s glory in His eternal presence.)

  This is on my mind and heart today, and this week, because something interesting happened on Monday. My nephew and his wife, expecting their first child, gave birth to a beautiful little girl at 10:50 Monday morning.

  And Monday just happened to be the 17th anniversary of the death of my nephew’s Dad, who was also my brother. Spooky? Not at all. Poignant? You betcha. Tad (the new Dad) said in a text to me, “17 years after Dad passed. . . crazy.”

  Tad and his brother (and step-siblings) have taken to calling March 19 “St Daddy’s Day” in honor of my brother, their father. I think that now, we’ll call it “Sydney’s birthday,” while still recalling the other major event that took place on that day.

  As I sat in the hospital room with the new family Monday afternoon, reflecting on and quoting the Blood Sweat and Tears lyrics, I got choked up. My wife said, “You’re gonna make me cry!”  But it was all about celebrating new life, while remembering another life that we all miss.

  So keep Sydney in your prayers for her growth and development, and Tad and Kim, the new parents, for them to be able to do what the rest of us have done at one time or another: go home with a new baby and figure it all out.

  And if you would, keep Kim in your prayers in particular.  Three months ago, while pregnant, she was found to have a brain tumor. Two physician friends have assured me that it is not uncommon for this to develop in pregnancy, with raging hormones and increased blood flow. Oftentimes, they say, the tumors go away after delivery, and most always are benign. It will be a few more weeks before they do an MRI with contrast (dye) to know exactly what is going on, something that could not be done while she was still carrying the baby. I’m praying that it just goes away.

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