If any of you fellow iMonks are going to be in or around Indianapolis on Saturday, here’s a chance to spend a few moments with Chaplain Mike and Damaris Zehner.
We will be greeting folks and signing copies of our books from 2-4pm at the Barnes & Noble store on the south side of Indy, at the Greenwood Park Mall.
You can see the store address and contact information on the right. Please join us! We’d love to meet you.
Damaris’s book is The Between Time: Savoring the Moments of Everyday Life, a delightful collection of stories and meditations that help us reflect upon the “in between” days in which we all live:
The paradox of the Christian life is that we live in a between time. Our race exists between the original creation and the unveiling of the new heavens and the new earth. Our brief years between birth and death can seem endless as we await salvation. We hold on with faith between God’s promises and their distant fulfillment. Life breaks us and heals us, healing us to break us again. We never quite fit in the world and in our skins, because they are always changing, and so are we. We’ve left, but we’re not there yet. This is the between time.
Chaplain Mike has written Walking Home Together: Spiritual Guidance and Practical Advice for the End of Life out of his experiences as a friend, a pastor, and a hospice chaplain. It is a conversation about the journey toward the end of life, discussing questions people have asked him over the years, giving perspective on how to have a “good walk home.”
This book is about the walk home.
Whether simply on account of advanced age or through a terminal diagnosis you have received, you have reached a place in your life where you know you’re on the way home. You are on the final leg of your life’s journey. You will soon pass through a door called “death” and be home. It may be across town — a good long trek — or it could be a few streets away or perhaps just around the next corner. Your home may even be in sight, and in a few steps the door will beckon. Soon you will say goodbye to those with whom you’ve journeyed through life, go through that door we call “death,” and enter another reality. You will be home.
My purpose in this book is to accompany you on this homeward portion of your walk. I would count it a privilege to be your companion, to help you think through what a “good walk home” might look like for you.
Henri Nouwen once wrote:
Is death something so terrible and absurd that we are better off not thinking or talking about it? Is death such an undesirable part of our existence that we are better off acting as if it were not real? Is death such an absolute end of all our thoughts and actions that we simply cannot face it? Or is it possible to befriend our dying gradually and live open to it, trusting that we have nothing to fear? Is it possible to prepare for our death with the same attentiveness that our parents had in preparing for our birth? Can we wait for our death as for a friend who wants to welcome us home?
• Henri Nouwen, Our Greatest Gift, p. xiif
In my daily work, I serve as a hospice chaplain. I work with individuals and their families who find themselves at this stage of life. The older I get, the more I discover that each of life’s seasons has its own path, its own challenges, its own rewards. The “end of life” season is no different, and I think it is important that we give it some attention since we are all going to have to make that journey.