Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
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    Soul Rythem

    Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner

    Death has been heavy on my mind  lately. I don’t know why.  I don’t have a bad diagnosis. I am not in preparation with anyone who is waiting to cross over. I have been to a couple of funerals recently, but ample space has been allotted since then that I can’t use funerals to explain it away. Maybe it’s just a byproduct of fasting and praying during this season of Lent (although I must confess, lest I misrepresent myself, I have not been as faithful as I’d like to claim in either area).

    Sometimes, my thoughts swirl around what would happen if a certain person were to die. How would life be? Other times, it’s around my own departure. I question what things am I majoring in that I should be spending less time on, and to what things am I not dedicating enough time. What will people say of my life when I’m gone?

    On the surface, you might assume this is depressing. It’s not. The blessing all this mental death-talk carries is that it makes me taste the deliciousness of each new moment, each shared meal and each bit of joy and laughter. It even makes my pains pretty, because I appreciate the ability to feel them.

    So don’t get me wrong. I like living and living well. By well, I mean a regular dose of big, gigantic monstrous hugs with my 5-year-old great niece, where I scoop her up in my arms and we squeeze each other with all our might, making throaty mm-mm-good noises to dramatize the intensity of our love.

     Living well also means spending time with my extended family of aunts, cousins and their children, which usually includes enough food to feed the 5,000. We recently had five generations at an impromptu birthday dinner. Living well means engaging in side-splitting, unbridled laughter with girlfriends who aren’t too holy all the time and who aren’t too afraid to “go there” in the conversation. It means being quick and always ready to forgive, because life is too short to bear the extra burden unforgiveness demands.

    Mental death-talk slows my pace. I still myself to really listen, discern, hear and see God’s activity in the world and see where God wants me to be in God’s world.  I shut down to see less reality and more spirituality. (What’s God really doing in this moment? What would the Spirit like me to say, do, or respond?)

    I imagine Christ had His fair share of mental death-talk as he healed, delivered and set people free on His way to the cross. Mental death-talk never stopped His work; in fact, I believe it intensified it. At Lazarus’ tomb.  In the home of Jairus’ daughter. There at Gethsemane. There on the cross.

    Thinking about death while one is alive is not the worst thing. Failing to live life in the face of impending death is far worse. For this next breath, and the ones that follow in sure and unacknowledged succession, I’m so grateful.


    Each Friday during Lent, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia T. Turner, pastor of the Dayspring Community Church in Lanham, MD, will write about the “Righteous Mind” on the Soul Rhythms blog. Click here to read other pieces by Rev. Turner.


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