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About Shadowknight

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    He's a pretty cool guy, I guess.
  • Birthday 08/11/93

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  • Location Fort Worth

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Shadowknight's Activity

  1. Shadowknight added a post in a topic I co-officiated my first funeral yesterday   

    I appreciate your response. Like I said, I process my emotions best through writing, and this post kind of fulfilled that same need. 
    Beyond that, though, this forum is actually very special to me. I know I haven't been around as much since I started college, but I've been a member here for almost a decade. Even in the periods where I wasn't active, I have always checked in from time to time. The user base has changed a lot since I first started coming here, and I've changed too, but I've always come back. It's hard to explain, honestly, but it's true. So I guess that in this time, which is extraordinarily trying for me, there isn't really a better venue for my thoughts. I have little attachment to Reddit, and most social media has too short of an attention span for this, but I have history here. Maybe not as much as a lot of the other posters, but you can see my development chronicled through my post history. Some people have at least a vague understanding of what I'm like.
    I've always posted here, it seems, and it just feels right to do so now too. It's somewhat therapeutic, if nothing else.
  2. Shadowknight added a topic in Serious Discussion   

    I co-officiated my first funeral yesterday
    This has, without a doubt, been the most difficult week of my life. I've barely slept or eaten since Saturday, flown between Fort Worth and San Antonio twice, driven down to San Antonio once, and I still had to do a final and a paper in the midst of everything that's been happening. Here's the story.
    Saturday night, around 1 AM, I got a phone call from a good friend of mine, a guy who I've known since I was about 8. He was calling because my lifelong best friend, who I'd been inseparable from since we were 2, had passed away in his sleep the previous night. I'd left the bedroom to take that call, and I couldn't quite make it back before my legs quit working, so my wife, who was woken up by my commotion, had to come get me out of the hallway. She called my parents, who also hadn't heard, and they bought me a plane ticket for the next morning. I got maybe an hour of sleep. I came down, spent time with friends, my family, and my friend's family, and they treated me like one of their own. I'm not an emotional person usually, but this was like something had been unexpectedly cut out of me, like I'd just lost a brother. I stayed with them all day, and I flew back home on Monday night because I had a final on Tuesday. It was terrible, but I feel like I did well. I drove back down on Wednesday morning (about 4 hours) and my wife flew after she got off work, and we went to the visitation that night.
    I was terrified going into that funeral home. I'd never been to an open casket visitation before, and I certainly wasn't prepared to do so for my best friend, but I was surprisingly more troubled by the slideshow of pictures outside than by the body, probably because it didn't really look like him. The pictures reminded me of the 20 years we'd spent together in a way that his body could not.
    I decided on Wednesday, before the visitation, to agree to co-officiate the funeral service and to lead the graveside service myself. This got complicated, as I was also a pallbearer, but it seemed like the best thing I could do for his family. I was worried about this going in because my body had been continuously rebelling since Saturday: I had a constant headache, it felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach, and I absolutely could not stop shaking. But when I led the family into the sanctuary, when I walked onto the chancel, when I read the eulogy at the lectern, when I led the family out and carried the casket down to the hearse, and even when I stood by my friend's grave, I knew that this was how I could help everyone. This was the only part of my grieving process I'd been trained for, and it was the part that I knew about already. 
    My words helped the family, they helped his friends, and they helped me. I cried the entire time I was writing them, because I process emotions best through words, but when I was in front of everyone, serving as a pastor and a friend, I was comforted by the understanding that this was one of the most important things I had ever done. Maybe the most important. And when I was standing by the grave, with his closest friends and his family, my words flowed without hesitation or waver, and I was able to speak loudly without worry. This was, after all, what I was called to do.
    So I co-officiated my first funeral yesterday, and it was for my best friend. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, and one of the most important.
    • 4 replies
  3. Shadowknight added a post in a topic What is your most recent purchase?   

    Today I bought six metal parking lot signs to install where I work. We're having a problem with people taking all the spaces at one of the buildings I'm landlord over (the ministry where I serve owns it) and preventing the staff from parking, which is bad because one of those staff members is my boss...
  4. Shadowknight added a post in a topic You know what I hate the most?   

    Seminary should be an extraordinarily good place to find Christian fellowship, in theory. And as I look around, I see my peers growing closer to one another, edifying and teaching both inside and out of the classroom. Yet this environment is anything but moderate, and anything other than hyper-progressive theology (no objective truths, etc.) is treated as archaic and damaging to society and the Church. What place is there, then, for someone who does place stock in orthodoxy? In tradition? I may not be Catholic, but I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that there was some truth present in the great theologians and philosophers of the past two millenia. 
    It feels as though I'm unwanted, which is sad. I have big ideas, and I spend a lot of time thinking, reading, and writing theologically and philosophically, yet I feel as though there is no place for me among my fellow students. My professors are wonderful, encouraging me and guiding me, and I do feel as though I'm learning and growing, but there is a certain loneliness in hearing the people around you disparage your ideas without knowing that you hold them. 
    I believe in a God of absolute beauty, the giver of comfort, the one who will lift up the downtrodden and marginalized. I see a timeless Creator, one who rejoices at each birth and mourns at each death, who wants nothing more than for Creation to be sanctified. When I think of God, I think of peace like a river, warmth and light like a candle. And I see beauty in every creation, because I can't separate spirit from material. Within every person is the breath of God, and we cannot undervalue that. But the focus on beauty in my theology is ignored in favor of my belief that violence is not the only sinful act, my appreciation for the material world is set aside because I'm a bigot for considering some things heresy. 
    It's difficult, when you focus that much on the beauty of things and of God, to be told that the net sum of your beliefs amounts to pure ugliness. And it's worse because the people around me don't even really know that I feel this way. They don't know that their aggression against even moderate theology is pushing me away, and they don't know that I'm too self-conscious to speak up about the beauty that can go along with such belief. 
    So I guess what I hate the most is this feeling of loneliness, of being unwelcome in a place I was so hopeful about among people I respect. I just wish I could speak up without the fear of losing what respect I already have.
  5. Shadowknight added a post in a topic Post Yourself   

    I remember a picture you posted a long time ago, and I think you have changed! At least, you look older than before. 
  6. Shadowknight added a post in a topic Talk   

    When I decided to start losing weight and being healthier, I basically ate frozen veggies, rice, and baked boneless, skinless chicken breast seasoned in assorted ways for like five months. I lost about 60 lbs, too, which was pretty great. Not so great if you don't like chicken, though!
  7. Shadowknight added a post in a topic What is the point of your life?   

    To know, love, serve, and enjoy my Creator to all eternity. To do good, to do no harm, and to attend to the ordinances of God.
    It's true, I believe that my purpose is to be a servant to the world. My role is to do everything I can to improve this world and the lives of those who live in it, and I'm doing it within the context of the church. Even if I can only make a difference in a few lives, it won't be for lack of trying!
  8. Shadowknight added a post in a topic Talk   

    I'm gathering that the majority of people have at least one semi-traumatic roommate situation in their life. Mine was sophomore year of college, when lived with a guy who had the craziest mood swings I've ever seen. He broke my door once out of anger!
    My wife is definitely the best person I've lived with. All my roommates were terrible by comparison! But I guess that's as expected.