Professional Mourner or Professional Joy Generator?

By Mary Anne Benedetto

I recently learned that in some ancient cultures, it was common to hire professional mourners to wail at funerals. Also known as Feb 2013 Albany guy dinnermoirologists, their duties could possibly include delivering a eulogy or simply weeping, moaning and crying loudly.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that even in current times, there are Mediterranean, Near Eastern and other cultures who still participate in this practice.  In the U.K. someone established a business called Rent a Mourner!

Imagine crying and wailing and actually getting paid for your emotional outbursts of sorrow? I know some chronic complainers who would probably excel at and love that job.

As caring siblings, children, parents and grandparents, don’t we sometimes want to mourn the poor choices and resulting situations of loved ones? One lesson that God has recently been teaching me is that I simply can’t control what other people choose to do, although I’d like to. I so wish that I could pave the way for my loved ones to walk in the lighted pathway the Lord has planned for them and never detour, but I can’t accomplish that any more than my own parents could spare me from making less than stellar decisions during my teenage and young adult years.

So what can I do? I can be vigilant as their prayer warrior. I can literally get on my knees and pray that they won’t stray too far away and that their early upbringing will always bring them back into the loving arms of Christ. They were already forgiven at the cross.

Since prayer is really the only way I can help besides showing them tons of love and making sure they know they are in my daily prayers, I choose joy. I choose not letting the decisions and acts of others steal my joy. I choose remembering that I can’t dictate their actions, and so I will be a professional joy generator.

Nehemiah 8:10…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (NIV)

Philippians 1:3-6  I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Never Say Perfect Book CoverMary Anne Benedetto is a Certified Lifewriting Instructor and the author of 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Eyelash and Never Say Perfect. Please visit her at and


Going Down to the Creek

By Lynn Mosher

Long before dry cleaners and spot removers, spin cycles and fabric softeners, clothes had to be washed by hand. When the dirt and grime of labor disguised the fabrics’ true colors, the clothes needed to be washed.

The women who lived near a river or creek took their families’ laundry down to the water’s edge to pound out the dirt on the rocks. As they walked the worn path, and as they scrubbed their clothes, they would converse with one another, sharing the loads of their lives as they shared their loads of laundry.

After a discussion with a dear friend about a difficult circumstance in her life, she told her husband of our conversation. He said it had been a good idea that we talked about the problem together. It reminded him of days gone by when the women went down to the creek to wash their clothes and commune with one another.

Paul exhorts us to “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2 NLT) When you share your burden with another, scripture says, “That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.” (Ex. 18:22b NIV)

Is there one with whom you can walk alongside when he or she is in a circumstance of conflict, to share their load, to put a loving arm around them, to offer them a shoulder on which to cry, to speak words of comfort or say nothing at all? Are you a fellow creek-goer in someone else’s life?

My friend thanked me for “going down to the creek” with her. The next morning during her quiet time with the Lord, she told Him she wanted to go down to the creek and wash out a few things with Him.

So, what about you? Do you have one with whom you can go down to the creek, making your load lighter? If you do not have a fellow creek-goer in your life, the Lord will always be that friend to you, to walk the path with you down to the creek to share your heavy load or to help you wash the dirt out of a few things.

Do you have a worn path to the water, where you go to wash away the accumulated dirt of life that has disguised your true color?

Prayer: Lord, may I often be found down at the creek, being cleansed of all that hinders my relationship with You, while also lightening the load of another as we meet You there.

From His feet, Lynn 

About Lynn

Through many hardships, trials, and health issues, I have learned to depend entirely on the Lord for everything. After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2000, the Lord whispered to my heart to write for Him. So, now, out of a great passion to reach others, I obey His call. You can find Lynn at

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