Unanswered Questions by Rev. Laura A. Alles
Two weeks ago when I found and made the commitment to the ULC Ministry I have been contemplating a sermon. Something has been bothering me for the last 7 months, I would like to put into my very first sermon.
Today as I cleaned up some of the files in my computer I revisited a letter I wrote May 14, 2005. It wasn't a friendly warm letter, it was a letter of pent up anger and just plain old frustration. It started with years of unsaid words and ended with a prayer.
Back to the letter I wrote. Being a mother and one quite involved in the school, and being vested in my community I have met many of the people around me. I have had the opportunity to interact on many levels. About 7 years ago I met, Donna. Donna was a single mom in the community, she had it hard. She was disabled, but mostly because of choices she made - though not all. Donna had grown up "rough" and it showed in her demeanor. She made many adversaries from sometimes honest, sometimes unneeded and hurtful words. A little ADHD was added to the mix also. I held my tongue.
Donna had a lot of life lessons to share with the world, and could have been very beneficial with the right manner of speaking. For years Donna and I watched our daughters be best friends and grow together. As typical best friends, they loved, laughed and fought. During the times of fighting Donna, would get involved in the agruements. She had this way of letting you know she always had it worse than those around her. I held my tongue.
February 12, 2005 my daughter was raped. In an attempt to make sense of the tragedy my daughter went to Donna for advice. The attitude my daughter got was not what I would have expected from a grown adult. Donna had been raped 30 years ago and it was, of course, worse than what happened to my 17 year old daughter so needed to buck up and deal with it. I held my tongue.
The girls had a fight, and Donna got into the middle of the argument. Here is where my unsettled feelings come from, and now 7 months after May 14, 2005 I am still feeling the effects of the letter. I wrote a letter to Donna, expressing all of the years of pent up frustrations that I had held back. In my growing I have been blessed by the Heavens above with patience, I thought it was a gift. The letter started with the hard truth because after all Donna sure dealt a lot of that in her lifetime without regard for who she hurt. I didn't hold my tongue.
I held onto the letter for two weeks, I wanted to make sure it was what I really wanted to say before I sent it. Our girls were graduating, I had bought a gift for her daughter, asked her to stop by pick up the gift and give the letter to her mother. Donna got the letter and freaked out, in a very Donna style - stormed over to my house, with a response that wasn't very friendly. Three days later - Donna killed herself.
Donna's daughter didn't have a mother at graduation. Donna's daughter had to move within 2 days of her death out of her home and out into the world of life. Donna's daughter was left with no immediate family because of Donna's hard life and harsh words. Donna's daughter found crack pipes in her mother things as she packed. Donna's daughter is struggling.
Should I have held my tongue? All of the things I held for so many years and pride myself in got the best of me. All the things I hated in Donna came out in me. What could be learned here? We all still answer for everything we do and say. We all still have to live with what is dealt to us.
Hold strong to your convictions, you have them for a reason.
~Laura A. Alles ~
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