It’s a skill and I think we are learning it…..
joy and sorrow. I’m not quite sure how this skill was developed or has been developing…the human heart is quite complex in its ability to be deeply grateful for the good we experience daily and simultaneously mourn loss and brokenness.
I have had some conversations with a few of my kids concerning this topic. Moving on with life, being thankful, is a good thing..they both, however, bring feelings of guilt. Will we forever grieve our husband and father? Should we? Yes and yes. Is it wrong to move on..want to move on? No and No. Therein lies the skill. Mourning and thanksgiving seem so opposed to each other…but in reality they grow together, so entwined that we can’t stifle one without killing the other.
I am not a huge fan of change. Yet my life has changed drastically the last 3 years. Oh, it changed lots before that I guess, college, marriage, children…etc…but nothing like the change of losing a spouse/father. It’s not just grieving the loss of a person, but also grieving all that we knew..our way of life. Gone. Through it all, there has been a thread of gratitude along with the sorrow. Both. I’m learning to accept that they must live together, this gratitude and sorrow. That I don’t have to get rid of one to have the other.
As Christians, one of our central practices in worship is communion. In many ways the communion meal is a meal of sorrow. It reminds us of the crucifixion, but it is also a time for us to rejoice in our salvation through redemption in Christ. Each Sunday when we take this meal we hold together sorrow and joy, gratitude and lament. Our Christian worship lets us wade into this complexity and let it be.
So as we all keep moving forward I pray that we will rest in the complexity. That we will, through His grace, keep practicing the skill of joy and sorrow..together.
“Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
John 16: 20-24
- Posted in: Uncategorized