I’m Not Dead Yet

Gilberto Araujo is a 41 year old Brazillian man who has done what very, very few people will have the opportunity to do. He turned up at his own wake.

A Brazilian man shocked his family when he appeared at his own wake, police in north-eastern Brazil say.

The family was gathered around the body of what they believed to be 41-year-old car washer Gilberto Araujo when the man himself showed up, causing some relatives to faint.

The body in the coffin is believed to be that of another car washer, who relatives say looked like Gilberto. – BBC News

I wonder if he was surprised to see who was there or even who wasn’t. Of course, while it was a relief and a time for rejoicing for Gilberto’s family, there’s now another family and group of friends mourning someone they loved.

The Final Farewell

Sometimes I wonder who’ll turn up at my funeral when my life here is over. Will those who do show up have good things to say or will their silence tell a different story? I will have no chance to control what’s said when the time comes but I can do something about it while I’m still here by the way I choose to live my life. Will I leave friends and family with good memories? That’s up to me and the choices I make every day of my life.

I wonder about what kind of difference I’m making to the wider world. Will I be missed by more than those close to me? Will there be those I’ve never met who will be thankful that I was once alive? Am I making a difference through my work and through the the volunteer tasks I undertake?

Skeletons in the Closet

While we’re on the subject of our own passing, or at least I am, I reckon that something worth thinking about is having my family sort through all my belongings. I try to live an honest and open life so there wouldn’t be any surprises, but I’ve heard stories of people passing on, only have their loved ones find out later that the person they thought they knew was someone quite different to the image they had portrayed.

Wouldn’t it be awful for a family dealing with their grief to discover the person they thought they knew was hiding some dark secret?

I reckon the easiest way to avoid having skeletons in our closets revealed after our deaths is not to find better hiding spots, but to ensure that we maintain our integrity both when people are watching as well as when there’s no one else around. We tend to like ourselves a lot better that way too.

I’m not dead yet

I should probably add that all this talk about leaving this planet isn’t because I’m planning on doing so anytime soon. I’m enjoying life too much to go at the moment. I have a magnificent family, a great job, wonderful friends and a blog that needs updating regularly. I’m not planning on leaving it all behind just yet, but you never know when your time is up.

Being confident that there’s something better beyond the grave isn’t going to convince me to get there any faster than I need to. I believe in life after death but I’d like to ensure that I get to live this life first.

What About You?

Do you ever wonder how it would be if you were no longer around? Will those you leave behind remember you as someone who made a positive difference to their world? Are you involved in things that will mean that your life will have an impact even after you’re gone?

I wonder also if you believe that there’s something more than this life. Have you seriously considered what there may be beyond the grave? Is your daily life reflecting your belief?

I’d love to hear your point of view on the whole subject. I look forward to reading your comments.

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A dirty little secret

Shane Vander Hart of Caffeinated Thoughts has written a frank introduction to The Dirty Little Secret: Uncovering the Truth Behind Porn, a book by Craig Gross.

Shane’s post, Porn Sucks, is well worth a read. He quotes Craig talking about the nature of pornography.

We’re trying to help people see the true nature of pornography. It’s pure exploitation, the objectification of sex. God gave us so much more than that. Christianity doesn’t condemn sex or pleasure. Sex is a wonderful gift fully sanctified in God’s glory. Have you ever read Song of Solomon? Ever wonder what that little piece of erotic writing is doing in the Bible? Yet we choose to ignore this gift for something much more carnal; we wolf down the cheeseburger and fries when we’re offered the filet minon. That’s what porn is: sex packaged in a fast-food wrapper, dumbed down and exploited for profit and mass consumption.

The good news is that there is a way out of porn addiction. Check out Shane’s post for more details.

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Post Secret

postcard.jpgWhat’s your secret? Is there something that gnaws away inside you that you wish you could share with someone?

I spotted this article from OC Register a few weeks back. It talks about how Frank Warren’s plan to create a unique art exhibit has turned into an international phenomenon.

In preparation for a local art show, Frank left 3,000 postcards in pizza parlors, bookstores and Washington, D.C., subways that read: “Send Frank a secret.”

Ha, ha. Art.

He got a few hundred replies, which he displayed at his booth. But the postcards kept coming – from places like China, Australia and Tupelo, Mississippi.

Their messages ranged from: I am secretly involved with my best friend’s wife. To: Everyone who knew me before 9-11 believes I’m dead.

Frank’s blog – PostSecret.com -continues to display the innermost secrets of all those who send him their postcards. If you plan on visiting the site you need to know that there are some very frank admissions with several being sexual in nature. Never the less, I think a visit to the site is worthwhile to get a better understanding of the hurts many people are carrying.

Here’s a sample of some of the most recent secrets.

If it hadn’t been for an unplanned pregnancy, my next attempt at ending life would have succeeded.

Tomorrow is my 24th birthday. It has taken that long for me to figure out who I am, and love myself. But I am finally getting there.

I’m obsessed with the fear that I will die while my husband is in Iraq and he’ll have no one to come home to.

I yelled at her for weeks about how wrong her abortion was and she still held my hand when I had one.

I pray over your package before I mail it to you. – eBay power seller.

Trick or Treat? I am haunted by the end of my first marriage and afraid this one is doomed too.

I strongly suspect that I use a lot more toilet paper than other people …. but I have no way of knowing.

I was one of those kids who always made fun of the ‘different’ kids. Now I teach the ‘different’ kids. My heart breaks every day. I’m so sorry for being a horrible person when I was younger. Eventually we grow up and realize we were wrong.

I secretly believe God lets people into Heaven based on how they treat animals.

After 38 years of using drugs I’m finally clean at the age of 50, and I’m so grateful.

My brother and sister make fun of me for not doing drugs.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

We discussed the human need to confess our secrets during today’s segment and talked about what drives people to send their thoughts to Post Secret.

You can hear our conversations by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

Would you send your secrets to Post Secret? Do have trusted friends with whom you can share your deep dark thoughts and secrets?


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