When I was in the seventh grade, a classmate of mine died from uremic poisoning. The principal of our small grade school requested from the parents classmate attendance at her funeral. The heavy scent of carnations and the haunting tune, Beautiful Dreamer, played on the organ, affect me still. Lorraine, in her padded coffin, appeared much prettier to me in death than she had in life. A thin, sickly, shy girl (with a healthier twin sister), Lorraine seemed almost shadow-like in our class. When I later asked my mother when Lorraine was going to wake up, she replied, “Never.” No words of heaven, or that she’s now in a happier place. The thought that the girl was doomed to eternal sleep was staggering to me.
My family moved around a lot. As a child, it often seemed to involve playing catch-up with classmates more fully rooted in place. Following our parents’ dictates, we three siblings were weekly shuttled to the nearest Sunday school. It didn’t seem to matter which one – Methodist, Congregational, Lutheran, etc. I found it embarrassing and disconcerting to walk into a new classroom and realize that we were either ahead or, more often, behind our peers in religious study. My parents were comfortably loose believers in “Something up there …”
Not tied to any particular familial religious dogma during our childhood years, we were mentally unencumbered as adults to pursue our own, if any, spiritual inclinations. Personally, I’ve found that life slowly offers up its deeper inner secrets to the truly venturesome and inquisitive in Spirit.
Two years ago I attended a relative’s funeral on the East Coast. At the memorial service I became aware that he had been a respected member of the church’s choir. After each week’s choir practice in the church, the men retire upstairs to a second-story room. There, the men who gather share fellowship, faith, and comradery. They proudly call themselves MOTUR: Men Of The Upstairs Room.
I like to imagine other individuals who, like myself, are Seekers, whose strong desire for elusive Truth keep them journeying along on their own unique paths of discovery, are united with me in a spiritual sense. We too are MOTUR – Members (future Masters) Of The Upper Room – open in our individual consciousness to new inner direction and enfoldment.