Words on a page or a computer screen have their own life; their own power. If I were to write, “She walked slowly through the crowd of Christmas shoppers, her golden hair softly bouncing with each stride”, what image comes to your mind? You may have questions like “Is she a child? Is she a young lady of 21 out shopping for a special gift for her special someone? Is she dressed in heavy cold weather clothing or is she in shorts since, with just the one sentence, you couldn’t know if she were in Minneapolis or Miami walking through the crowd.
As the story would unfold, you would get a clearer picture of who she is, where she is, what she is doing and is shopping at Christmas central to the story line or just a backdrop to set a mood. However, when you see a picture, many of your personal experiences are brought to the front of your mind as you relate your memories with what is in the photo. For instance, see a picture of Santa Claus and you immediately know who he is and your feelings toward the Christmas holidays, good or bad, surface. Be shown a picture of a manger scene and much the same occurs. Both pictures represent the same season of the year, and yet, each of the two images may produce completely different reactions based on personal experiences.
What does a Santa have to do with a manger and the birth of Christ? In fact, many people over the years have tried to X out Christ from Christmas but it matters not. Christmas is Jesus’s birthday, and all the commercialization in the world will not change that. Christmas of 2013 is behind us, and Christ is still the reason for the season, and Round 2014 of the war of materialism vs. spirituality is still nine months away.
Soon, a new set of contrasting images will be upon us. Again, Jesus will have to do battle with the Easter bunny, colored eggs and chocolate. History has shown that Christ came to this earth to atone for all of man’s sins, and God sacrificed His son in order for all believers to be welcomed back to life eternal with Him in heaven. His resurrection into heaven on Easter Sunday over 2000 years ago fulfilled that goal. All the greatest scholars since then have not been able to disprove this fact.
Now, there are a number of readers who may protest that the story of Christ is just that…a story. They see more in the truth of a chocolate bunny than in the intrinsic beauty and wonder of the most simple flower. I am not a scholar of theology or the bible. I have not made studies as have many great scholars throughout history. But then again, I never studied electricity but that does not keep me from having absolute faith that light will fill a room when I hit a little switch on the wall. I cannot help but believe in God when I see the miracle of life all around me every day. Or the miracle of death!
Having worked in the death care industry for many years, I have sat and talked with so many people that were there to witness the miracle of life as their child was born and their baby was placed in their arms. Some of those people would share how deeply they wept as they held babies when a last breath left their wee little bodies, and no man or woman on this earth could put life back into those babies. People come to cemeteries to make funeral arrangements and find that they are being helped by caring, loving people who do their jobs in hopes of making life’s greatest tragedy, the death of a loved one, go as smoothly and professionally as is humanly possible.
I believe in the sacredness of life, and of the birth of Jesus as our Savior, and of His resurrection on Easter Sunday to give us eternal life. I believe that our time on this earth means more than Christmas gifts with Santa paper or colored eggs and Easter baskets. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I love me some chocolate bunnies and brightly lit Christmas trees! But there is so much more to fill our lives with than man-made holidays to relieve our boredom of day to day living.
For those who I work with in this industry, the goodness of our people far outweighs the evil that knocks on all of our doors every day. There is an old saying that goes, “keep your eyes on the prize”. I am too small and insignificant to think that I have any right to judge anyone else in what their prize should be. However, having lived a good number of years and having done some bad and some good in my life, I choose to make my prize the “reason for the Easter season” and help as many people through their struggles with death as they enter the doors of Calumet Park Cemetery and Funeral Chapel each day…not by preaching but by being an example of caring and kindness as they face their special challenges.
One of the primary reasons that I have chosen to complete my working career with this wonderful company is the philosophical similarities shared by myself and this Board of Directors which is to live by the Golden Rule. Your homework…type Golden Rule in your computer or I-phone or I-pad and see you if you might want to make the Golden Rule your creed too. As a human, we will all have our up days and our down days, but keeping your eye on the prize will always bring you back to the path that leads to your own resurrection into heaven on your appointed day.
So, the image of the company that I want to work for changes from words to picture realities after seven years of seeing the families in this community treated with care and respect and love by those who labor as part of the Calumet Park Team. And for me, that is what comes to my mind when I see the power of the image of the Calumet Park logo.
Happy Easter to all.