My apologies for the crappy, cell-phone quality pic of Bud today - but he's finally here for Friday Bud Blogging. It has been a rough few weeks, to say the least.
When I took this picture a few minutes ago, he was plastered to my side - cuddling in his own Basset Hound way - because I had just returned from a funeral. The six week old baby of one of my closest childhood friends passed away suddenly earlier in the week and we came together as family, friends and community today to say our final goodbyes.
In moments of grief like this, I get alot of questions from people that sortof go something like this: "Why did God let this happen?" "Why do some people have to suffer so much?" "Where is God in all of these tears?"
I don't even begin to pretend to have an answer.
For me, someone who has lost alot of loved ones over the years, and watched as lives become shattered through loss, drugs, whatever we can dream up to take the pain away - all I can do as a Christian, as a human being, is to love them and be there for them.
Religion is a funny thing because all of the preaching, all of the hymns, all of the stories handed down to us throughout the millenia, boils down to one thing if we choose to see them through that lens - Love.
And that's the way it is with all life. For those who choose to believe in a higher power, or those who don't, we all have to find a way to make it through this world together. It is a lesson that is lost on those who pervert religion by preaching with hate-colored glasses adorned on their face.
I recall when I was in Boy Scouts as a young child, having this small lesson hammered into my head whenever we camped: Leave the environment around you better than you found it.
It is a creed that I pray everyday to strengthen within me. Even on days like this, when the sunlit sky seems darker than a cavern deep within the Earth - every hug shared, every eye-to-eye look of love given, every tale told of days gone by - we must remember that the world will be made brighter if we would only reach out to one another beyond our pride and past mistakes and simply be.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for being you.
Now go and spread some of that Love to everyone around you. It's the best way I know to honor Baby E today.