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how may i serve?

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Within two days, two requests. One from a family asking me to “say a few words” at the interment of ashes of a former hospice patient; the other from a lawyer asking that I meet his client who is near death and desires spiritual support. Two (extra-)ordinary opportunities to be of service.

Not that long ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d be asked, never mind agree to do it. But ever since working at hospice I’ve lost all fear and self-consciousness. Not a moment’s hesitation; it’s become a sacred duty. Not responding would be withholding a gift that freely resides within me. If I can make even the smallest dent in the suffering of others, I respond without hesitation. Wouldn’t you?

May I be  . . .
A guide for those who journey on the road,
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.

From an 8th century text written in India. (1997). Shantideva: the way of the bodhisattva. Boston: Shambala, p. 51. image: i took this photo shortly after a family had scattered ashes into the lake. Thirty minutes later the water was clear again, with only a faint outline of ashes at the bottom.


3 responses »

  1. What an honour and a priviledge to be entrusted with such sensitive and important work – sacred indeed. And what a confirmation of your natural gifts. I bow to your hard-won ability to move through difficulties in order to serve. Wonderful.

  2. i absolutely love that quote!

    Great read… keep posting!

    Dan 🙂


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