When I was seventeen I contracted amoebic dysentery in a Papua New Guinean village while volunteering at a youth camp. I thought I might die. I could not keep anything inside me but when I stood up for the necessary bathroom visit, I fainted. My mother, a nurse by profession, held my forehead while all my bodily fluids escaped with projectile force. At night, as soon as I cried, “I need help,” my father’s feet hit the floor and raced down the hall to come to my aid. My mother soothed and my dad strengthened. I needed both for comfort in my suffering.
The second time Jesus predicted his death, the disciples were filled with grief. Some say that if they had understood and trusted Jesus, they would not have been sad. But I’m not so sure.
I wrote about loss several times last year. After all it was 2020 and worldwide we were experiencing grief in unique ways. A year later I’m on this topic again proving we need a better way to handle its frequency. I propose that we find a way to mourn losses as a normal rhythm of life. I propose the "spiritual discipline of mourning."
“We have rejoiced with you? Will you suffer with us?” pleaded prominent black therapist Dr. Anita Phillips in a recent conversation with white author and activist, Christine Caine. She was applying a familiar verse in a deeply personal appeal: If one part [of the body] suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV
I'm on another crafting binge. The last time I made so many projects in one stretch was after my dad passed away. When I finally came up for air, I asked myself, "What was that?" I now realize it was my response to grief.
"Lament is a raw, unfiltered cry to God based on trust in his character and with hope for his resolution." It asks, "Why Lord, and how long?"
Feelings of sadness have flooded my soul and the social media of my friends and family. We are sad, both individually and collectively. And we have every right to be.
Image by Mark Filter from Pixabay "Let's call her and tell her you are sorry about her father and ask her if she wants to come over to play", my mother coached me after breaking the news that my best friend's father had just perished in a tragic airplane crash in the highlands of Papua … Continue reading Loss: Common and Cross-Cultural