Having had to get rid of my books, as old books can exacerbate my lung condition, I am in the frustrating position of not being able to verify quotes I want to use in my blog. However I am remembering a phrase from somewhere by someone: “Life consists in a whole lot of little deaths followed by little resurrections.” I think it was Brother Roger of Taize who said that or something near to that , but can’t be sure. However today in the midst of a season of life where much is changing for my family and for me myself as well as for my congregation, I found myself thinking about this quote and it seemed to bring life to me.
I think the particular aspect that brought me life is this: It is ok to mourn. In fact Jesus promised a blessing could be found in that. Am I allowing myself the space to mourn and through mourning and saying goodbye to certain things allowing myself to move into all the life in Christ that I can know in the present and the future? I think I almost accept things too quickly. I guess part of “faith” seems to be that one “accepts” things. I have no quarrel about that. What I perhaps don’t allow weight for is that mourning is important as well and is allowable. I am looking back to an interesting examination by an Occupational Health doctor a few months back. I explained that I had to give up squash for golf; then I had to give up golf for gentle cycle rides along the towpath of the canal; then I had to give that up and go for gentle walks along the same towpath. I actually enjoyed each of these activities, but while speaking to the doctor I realised I had not allowed myself to mourn at each stage. I had moved on without mourning a loss. He then asked me if I had ever mourned my loss of health. I realised with quite a shock that I had not. I was so much focussed on adjusting, so focussed on how many people were praying for my healing, that I had not allowed myself to mourn that obvious loss.
I think I want to say today, that faith is more than a stiff upper lip and stoicism. Living faith in the Living God has space for more than that. It has space for mourning as well as for resurrection.
I am wondering if there is a loss or grief that you may need to be honest about before God, so that you can feel permissible pain and allow yourself a permissible and indeed necessary grieving. We don’t grieve our losses as those who have no hope, but as believers, we do grieve nonetheless.
I can see all sorts of applicable mournings poking their heads up into the surface of my thoughts gasping to be expressed. For example, what about the mourning of the loss of songs and hymns, psalms and paraphrases and styles of worship that were meaningful in our younger days of faith journey but now seem to be outlawed in the church of today, and judged as inadequate? But, I will have to ask these thoughts to go down and swim about some more before they surface again.
For today, do you need to remember and apply in unexpected ways Jesus promise, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” ?
May God bless you as you pursue your Christian walk, a walk of little deaths and little resurrections.
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