While I Was Washing Dishes
The last time I was in a live conversation with my father, I was doing the dishes in my kitchen. I saw my father was in my dream last night. He has done so only a few times since his life was taken by violence from a hateful man believing he had the right to murder Jews. If you know or learn my story, you will understand that my father and family are Christian.
My Father Was In My Dream …
It’s fascinating when Dad appears in my dreams…because I know it is a dream. I know and feel that I am in a dream, he is visiting me, and I work to concentrate on the seconds he might be present. Thinking… “hey, Dad, you are with me!”…is how I remember feeling when he visits.
His smile told me he was happy. Sitting calmly in a chair, with a smile on his face, looking younger than on his final day with me, he provided me with a “steady” feeling. There were no words or no words I can recall. This is disappointing to me. I miss his thoughts, advice, and humor. My dream started to get, what I call messy. I was trying to get somewhere and wasn’t getting to my planned location very well. In fact, there was water involved, a dog, and an elevator. As I shook myself awake from the confusion, the specifics about my dad seemed to waft away in the fogginess of my brain.
Soon after waking and now on my morning beach walk, I met a woman named Rita. Evidently, Rita lives a few streets from me. She was sitting on the beach with her dog. Rita is also my grandmother’s name. Coincidence? I think not.
Dad was in my dream. I met Rita on the beach.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to visit Israel with The Church of the Resurrection of Leawood, Kansas. We walked where Jesus is said to have walked, we prayed where Jesus is said to have prayed. There are MANY aspects of this trip that represent a piece of my healing journey. I was able to place the ashes of my father and oldest son, Reat, in the River Jordan and in the Sea of Galilee with the assistance of friends who traveled with me. While each day brought a new location, stories of the area, and of course, Jesus and his Disciples, I was MOST affected by the community named Magdala. Magdala brought about feelings I had not felt since the weeks following their murders in 2014.
There is too much to unpack about how Magdala affected me in this blog, which I expect to close shortly. The importance of mentioning Magdala, after explaining pieces of my dream and meeting Rita have everything to do with the sermon Pastor Scott Chrostek provided today, August 1, 2021.
Courage, Vulnerability, Being Real
Pastor Scott mentioned courage, vulnerability, and being real. He talked about how Jesus asked Christians to be ambassadors of faith. Mentioning the importance of “feeling the feels” and sharing our own pain, sadness, sorrow, joy, excitement, and simply normal lives…is what we are called to do. Of course, Pastor Scott had a great opportunity to mention the humble courage of gymnast Simone Biles and her ability to share how she is NOT OKAY enough to compete in THE OLYMPICS! He then finished his sermon with a short story about a sweet 9-year-old girl who recently lost her grandmother to cancer. Pastor Scott explained how this little girl stood in front of her adult family and friends during her Grammy’s funeral and shared how she was not okay. She was angry and sad with the death of her Grammy AND she went on to share how she loved her Grammy AND had joyful memories, too.
I was reminded of how my younger son, Lukas Losen, at age 12, also stood in front of a large, sorrowful crowd during the double funeral for his Popeye (my father, his grandfather) and his older brother, Reat. Lukas spoke about his love for both of them and his desire to share joy-filled memories while offering tears as a tribute.
I was reminded of how MY faith that Dad and Reat are in Heaven is what initially lifted me in the earliest hours after their deaths. I was never alone…God was always with me…and is.
The idea of crafting this blog came to me while I was washing my dishes.
Pray with me…Heavenly Father, you know me, you know each of us. We know you by different names and by the feeling you provide us when a baby is born, a family member passes and we feel a deep, warm hug from a friend. We know you by the sunrise, a floating butterfly, and the sunset. Help me be the faith and kindness ambassador you want me to be. Allow me to “feel the feels” and know that when I am not okay, I can share it with you and others. Give me the courage to share my story and continue healing my heart and more.