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Rest in peace - and Rise in Glory

Today came news that someone on the very periphery of church life had died.  Most church folk would not have known them, and those of us who did were aware that this was a person whose life was hugely complex and hugely sad.  Not someone I found easy to get along with, yet one of those who find their way under your skin (in the positive north of England use of the phrase) and despite everything you care deeply for them.

Part of a group that meets on a Friday afternoon, they paused to remember their departed friend.  The nonagenarian leader spoke warmly and tenderly of a person whose life had been affected by chronic illness, before announcing a one minute silence to remember.

At the end of the silence I commended the person to God and uttered the words "may they rest in peace and rise in glory"

These few short minutes were beautiful in their simplicity and authenticity.

I will always remember the times I was told terrible jokes, the assurances (on better days) that I was OK as Christians went, and forget the difficult days when my patience was tried.

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