and may you all have peace!
In another thread, regarding a Witness father's countenance and "JW" responses when condolences were offered on behalf of his gravely ill daughter, someone wrote:
"People tend to get even more spiritually minded in that situation."
I have to say that I find that comment quite curious... in light of an event I attended this past Saturday. A funeral. A JW "memorial" of sorts, to be exact... for a non-JW. Sigh! It was, without a doubt... THE worst "memorial" of any type that I've ever attended. Hands down. And I've attended everything from the Catholic to the Baptist to the Lutheran to the Methodist to the Hindu to the Islamic (well, "Moslem," as in "National of Islam")... to the JW. And I am never really impressed by the presentations (well, there was one, done by a former Witness for a non-Witness family member who refused to allow religion to dictate to her which family members were welcome in her house and which weren't - a truly inspiring event, based entirely on the person that the deceased was. I posted about it here some time ago...)
Anyway, it is my experience that MOST people tend to HIDE behind "spirituality" in these situations (i.e., illness, death, memorial, etc.), while actually showing themselves to be quite selfish, really, and self-serving. Most don't have a THOUGHT to "spirituality" until such events. Many's the family rift that has arisen once someone has become terminally ill... or even died... the restraint of the ill or deceased now gone. Many times it starts at the hospital; however, most often it starts at the funeral: folks can't even wait to get home to bare their claws... or show their greed. From taking the nicest of flower arrangements, the best leftovers... to ignoring pertinent family. The list can get long.
But as I said, the "memorial" that I attended this weekend was THE worse. Barring my grandmother's funeral some years ago, where my father and his siblings spent a good deal of time arguing over "who's gonna get Daddy's gold watch," I've really never seen anything like it:
Neither the deceased, his widow or his children were Witnesses... never were. However, his father and mother (divorced) are; his sister (DF'd for over 20 years and recently reinstated) is; his neices and nephew aren't... but "live" by the teachings (that is, so long as it doesn't interfere with their drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having sex, fighting, etc.). Unfortunately, the deceased let his insurance lapse, so that his widow had no money to bury (well, cremate) him, and so in exchange for paying for the event, the "family" took over and insisted on a Witness "memorial." Sigh!
What's so "wrong" with that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing, truly. Except:
The "talk" lasted less than 8 minutes. Sort of. Why? Well, the speaker did not know the deceased's name (let alone the deceased himself), and so kept referring to him by incorrect names. And after spending about 3 minutes talking about someone none of us knew (okay, someone did, because he virtually read from the little "program"... verbatim...), he spent the next 5 minutes talking about... well, you know... the "usual" JW "stuff". I cannot tell you exactly WHAT "stuff"... because I tend to stop listening once they launch into the "canned" spiels. But that wasn't all:
The speaker couldn't remember his "scriptures" and so had to be helped by someone in the audience (although he had his "talk" all written out so that he basically read it...)
(A side note: Although this was a "Witness" event, I was the ONLY person in the audience with a Bible, so that when the Speaker said, "If you would please turn to...." the overall confusion among those present who were NOT Witnesses was SO noticeable, embarrassingly so, outshadowed only by the obvious and evident LACK of Bibles for those who WERE Witnesses. I didn't even open mine because I didn't want to appear, you know, "self-righteous" or something, and since he couldn't remember the verses, it was moot anyway. Don't get me wrong: I didn't bring mine to make some "super-spiritual" statement: I only brought it because everyone KNOWS you bring a Bible to all Witness events. Indeed, most do it, if only to APPEAR "spiritual" if for nothing else, 'cause most of them don't have a CLUE where Haggai is...)
Anyway, it got worse in that after the event, most of the food was taken by "family" to their respective homes... rather than to the widow's home (because, of course, the Witness families had "guests" who'd come to the event that needed to be fed later...), leaving her with NO food to feed herself, her kids and the group that went to her house, other than what she already had.
But all of that PALES in comparison to the fact that the "family"... Witness father, Witness Mother, newly reinstated Witness sister... and psuedo-Witness neices/nephew... SEATED THEMSELVES IN THE FIRST ROW... after which they directed the "usher" (a young friend of the family) to seat the widow... and her three young sons... IN THE THIRD ROW! Siiiiiigggghhhhh!
The widow, however, took note and after making request was seated... in the second row.
Was the widow DF'd? Nope. She'd never been a Witness. Was she married to the deceased? Yep. They been together for 20 years and had three sons, ages 8 to 18. Did the deceased love her? Yep. Was he a Witness? Again, I tell you, nope. For the LIFE of me, then, I can dedeuce no fathomable reason for the "family" to consider themselves ENTITLED to sit where they did... or to the food they took... or to taking over the event at all... and making it a "Witness" event... even if they DID pay for it.
Now, I know someone out there believes they have a good "excuse", a great "justification," for why these folks conducted themselves as they did, most probably starting with "they paid for it." True that, they did. But... before you go there, let me say to you that I know these people. I KNOW them. And I know... they did what they did... because they believe themselves to be... BETTER... than the widow and her children... and, thus, truly more WORTHY than her... of the "best" seat(s). AARRRGGHHHH!!
So, nope, there is nothing in this whole wide world... or any other... that can justify such things to me, because Witness or not... they SHOULD have KNOWN better. And AS Witnesses, meaning, based on their tiresome acclimation of "representing 'Jehovah'"... they SHOULD have known to take the "LOWER" seat... (at least the second or third row)... and "LESSER" place... (of serving their son and brother's widow and children during this particular time).
Why? Because that is what the Son of God would have done... and would have told THEM to do. And had they ears to HEAR... they would have heard him tell them. That they don't... is manifest... just as my Lord himself is recorded to have said:
"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and yet, you do not do the things I say?"
Hypocrites. May JAH, through Christ, open their eyes that they might SEE... and repent... and turn around... and if not... forgive them... for they know not what they do.
Again, I bid you all peace.
A slave if Christ, who apologizes but just had to get that out,