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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Thank you so very much again, Kenny !!
So often I’ve heard about no one wanting to see ‘your crying face’ and yet a verse that always touches me is where Jesus, in spite of the agony He is going through on the Cross, says to John and His Mother, Mary, that they are now mother and son !!
Love and Countless Blessings Always !!!
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Thank you for these words Kenny. Perhaps, I now realise why I at times just start weeping!
However, it also reminds of a Counselling Skills course I did at The University of Aberdeen. Grief was very much a focus in the course.
Even aspects of DOUBLED GRIEF if that is what you can call it!
This is where someone’s cat, dog or other pet dies and the grief seen by everyone is totally out of proportion to the event.
Unkind comments of ‘it was only a _____, why all the tears. Just pull yourself together and you’ll be fine’ are uttered. Rather than comfort, cruelty is offered!
Yes, there was a necessary grief expressed! Unfortunately, some previous event in life where a period of grieving was needed was shut down, or blocked because at that time the person had too much responsibilities in life to deal with to give themselves the time to grieve that loss were not expressed, so they come out now!
The word’s ‘I’m okay’ or ‘I’m fine’ become meaningless! When, what we really need to do is find a trusted someone to share the problems with!
A person I know would use the question ‘How are you, within yourself’.
It made you think.
In some ways I almost felt naked and they could see into the depths of me. As if you were being asked the same question by Jesus!
So – How are you – within yourself.
Share it with Jesus!
Write him a letter and then post it in someone’s fire. Not that there is anything special about using a fire.
It just gets the baggage out of the rucksack you are carrying and will in time help you to walk knowing you are not carrying as much ‘excess baggage’
Well put George.Thank you. K
Thanks for this Kenny. I think mourning can also be about memories.
Reading this, I remembered that no matter how hard I tried, I never beat you during those squash matches at WHEC! Thanks for those and (all the other) memories.
Good memoried indeed!!
Those that sow in sorrow will reap in joy
I speak about Gods welcoming arms but now I am to embrace loss.