Archive | September 2013

you.

It’s difficult for us to understand how God can see everyone and notice just you. But he does. You matter to God.

There’s lots of pain in the world and if we’re honest, we know that someone’s hurting more than us. When I think of the famine and disease of third world nations and children or adults suffering abuse or addiction, it helps put things into perspective.

It’s not that my pain or your pain isn’t valid, but pain has a way of consuming us if we let it.

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Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

– The Bible

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Photo credit: Haags Uitburo / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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questions.

Perhaps the more important question is not why is there evil, pain, sorrow, and suffering in the world. But is their relief? a remedy? and where does it come from?

Who has not felt some kind of comfort in distress? Just when I thought I could not take one more moment,  the sun coming up the next morning gave me a sense of comfort. Someone is watching over things. The big things.

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But then, there is the question of remedy. Is there one? Will there be a day when evil and pain is eradicated?

Without your participation, you exist. Your heart beats, pulsating life throughout your body.

With certainty, nature plays a glorious symphony, bringing forth food and beauty for all creation.

And for centuries, the sun rises every morning, soaking warmth and light upon the earth and its inhabitants.

God. He is the remedy. The one who created the universe knows how to fix it. He did.

And he promises …

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

-The Bible

I think this is worth looking forward to!

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suffering.

Suffering is part of life. We don’t understand why. It just is.

But beyond the here and now, there is more.

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Sometimes, we become very focused on our suffering and dwell on it.  It helps to look up and remember humanity has suffered since the beginning of time.

There has to be more than what we see.

There has to be more than we understand.

Maybe not having the answers is the answer.

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heart.

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And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

– The Bible

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Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney / Foter / CC BY-ND

grieving.

There is a group of us.  You may notice us or you may not. You will have expected it to be over by now. But it’s not.

Everyone has their opinion of what is normal and what is not. Not sure if God defined normalcy in specific terms but lots of people have. A few months after losing my son, a church leader said, “I don’t want you to get stuck in grief.”

I didn’t know it then, but my feelings were raw.  I know he was well-meaning. I know that now. But at the time I wanted so badly to lean forward and say, “You’re lucky I get the hell out of bed every morning” (using the expletive to reveal my raw nerves).

But I didn’t.

I stuffed the feelings back down and went for the nicey-nice stuff. Because after all, isn’t that the right thing to do?

The years following that conversation (and other advice over the years) stuck with me. Being the type of person who always asked “How high?” when someone said jump, I couldn’t jump this time. Then I started refusing to jump.

Thus begun a long journey that will continue until the day I die. The journey of grief.

I have resented this journey because of the invisible hand I have felt holding me back. I am a let’s-fix-it-and-be-done-with-it kind of gal. But grieving is a whole other language. You either play nice with it or you don’t play at all. In other words, you have to live and if you don’t follow the rules you will sink down deeply into a bottomless pit of sorrow, wishing you would just die in your sleep.

Now, I am not resentful because I know the invisible hand knows exactly what grief is all about. And this hand does not put any limitations on me.  The truth has a way of clearing away the path of thick, tangled brush of frustration and confusion.  And the truth for grieving people is this: acceptance. Unconditional, patient, loving acceptance.

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There is a group of us. We are your neighbors, your family, and the strangers you see on the street. And our hearts have a wound that always hurts. Some days we shy away from something or someone who makes the wound start bleeding again. For many months or even years, we will try to be strong and go into those vulnerable places to convince you (and ourselves) we are okay. But after awhile, we are too exhausted to keep that going.

See, we know you talk about us. We know you don’t mean any harm. But that doesn’t matter because all we feel is the vacuum created. And we just don’t have the energy to fill it.

The following is an excellent article from Today’s Christian Woman that helped me today. It validated and accepted me. It obliterated the catch phrases that I abhor: “a new normal” and “time heals all wounds”. There isn’t and it doesn’t.

http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2013/september/impatient-with-grief.html

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Photo credit: Hindrik S / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

alive.

The morning was cloudy with light, misty rain.                                

Normally, who would want to be outside?

Yet, the golds and reds of autumn painted against a gray sky created a kind of peaceful seclusion, isolating me from the rest of the world.

I love the feel of the rich, damp earth.

Orange, purple, and yellow tulip bulbs were carefully pressed down into the cool ground.

I leaned against the tree, thinking where I would plant an azalea. I looked around at the drooping vines, lifeless hostas, and scattered leaves on the chilled ground.

Then a thought came to me.

We feel happiness.

Why should we not feel pain?

If we feel pain, we are alive.

And being alive is wonderful.

Because on a dismal day you can plant a tulip bulb.

It will lay lifeless and dormant below the cold earth.

But it’s really alive. It’s just waiting for its moment.

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