Monday, March 29, 2010

June Einhorn Memorial Service Homily

Recently, I was out walking around the block

over in Cos Cob…

And, it was a relatively quiet evening, for a change…

the generators had almost all been silenced.

And the night sky was as big and wide as Texas.

For a few moments looking up,

I felt like I had been transported back to my childhood…

to a wrinkle in time when I was just about 19 years old,

and my father had died of a heart attack.

A time, which I now call…

an "instantaneous, pivot of life."

Meaning - one moment your life is in place,

and a split second later,

it has changed forever.

So, I looked up

into the vastness of this enormous universe

and simply said…Wow!

Look at this creation…

Look at all the glorious details of life.

But , you know God,

“I still have a lot questions for ya”…

How is it that we can now see Putnam Hill covered

with hundreds of beautiful purple and white Crocus’

after such a disastrous storm last week?

How can this be possible, dear God?

Because we live on a planet

where we clearly can see your hand.

And it has given life and cause…

But far too often now

we continue to experience,

at a moment’s notice,

the precious, sweet gift of life torn away, from us.

How can these contradictions be possible?


Well, the popular 80s song writer, Karla Bonhoff --

tried to answer, when she wrote:

"We never know where life will take us,

and it's just a ride on the wheel.

And we never know when death will shake us

and we wonder how it will feel."

For me, when tragic death comes,

I feel scattered and just don't know how to feel,

except to be afraid and numb.

So, as I walked up our drive way,

I heard a voice coming from next door…

it was a child’s voice,

and it was as clear as a bell.

She said, only four words,

“Because, I love you.”

There it was…the answer!

In full bloom.

God loved June Einhorn into being on of all days -- June 1st, 1948

And from all who knew her,

June was clearly Number 1.

In fact,

both Eric and Lucinda Harris told me recently

that they have never know anyone

with such deep character and firm convictions.

June made a difference where ever she was.

And we saw that first had here at Christ Church

and with you all as Choir Family for sure.

Eric, Ashley, Nick and Terrence…

Dawn, Ann, Jack, and Jill --

We all feel so badly for each of you right now.

But somehow now through all of this,

God speaks to you with a broken heart, too

God weeps today, but God will never abandon us.

And long after this service is over,

you will always have our love and support, too.

Someone once defined grief as “the pain of letting go.”

I like that.

I think it accurately describes what we do

every time a loved one dies;

we have to let go, ready or not.

It felt like that yesterday in the memorial garden,

didn’t it?

And so, today we gather here to continue our grieving,

not so much to find absolute answers.

But in this grief, let us never forget

that what matters most for people of faith…

whether we are Jewish, Catholic, Episcopalian,

each one of us in our own spiritual journey,

can NOW fully understand…

this answer.

That is - the God of Abraham is the source of all life

and when we die

each of us returns to this very same source

of goodness and love.

And, if that’s not a message of hope…Then I don’t know what is.

Because, the essence of God is pure unconditional Love…

And that cannot be purchased.

Hope and Love are Simple, Free gifts.

It doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to figure this out!

They come under the heading called -- Grace.

It was in the midst of a cold Maine winter in 1848,

when the Shaker hymn writer Joseph Brackett, once wrote –

“‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free,

'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of Love and Delight.”

It seems to me this is exactly

where June is today, isn’t she?

With the Resurrected Christ,

surrounded by Love and Delight.

June Hume Einhorn

Today, as you enter the New Jerusalem…

We lift you to God.

We left you to God with all the love of our heart and say…

good bye and thank you in the very same breath.

Thank you for your loving presence in our lives…

You will always be loved.


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