I have been given the incredible opportunity of writing a grief curriculum, seven days of prayer and reflection, with a talented group of people at CRM (http://www.crmleaders.org).
In writing, we decided to start each day with a vignette of sorts, a story that invites readers into our stories of grief. As I prayed about what to write, I wandered back through old writings, times where grief was so palpable and burdensome that I could barely stand… and I came across this little gem.
This piece is for you, dear sister, who have loved the Lord and felt abandoned- hurt- let down- confused.
This piece is for you, dear sister, for whom life has worn you down.
May these words bring you comfort. May they let you know that you are not alone. May they give you a glimpse of God, a different God than you have known.
And then life happened…
There was a time that I could feel the wind on my face and hear the sweet sounds around me. I was a child. I was free. I loved the world and the world loved me back. I met the Lord during that time and even though I don’t remember much of it, I know I loved him, and I never questioned that He loved me.
So when tragedies came, one after the one, never letting up, like waves crashing over me, so much so that I couldn’t catch a breath, I turned to Him, frightened and afraid.
Where is our love now? I accused, Does it not count for anything?
What about all the years I loved you and served you?
There were times I didn’t even talk to Him. I let my eyes say it all.
They said that I felt betrayed by Him. That He wasn’t who He said He was. Good.
He wasn’t good, that’s how it felt.
And He let me. He let me rant and rave.
He left me room to be silent. He didn’t’ fill the space or fight back.
He didn’t try to reason and appeal to my logic.
He just let me be.
Oh, He was there. He didn’t leave.
Not even for a moment and I knew that, but he didn’t say anything.
He knew his words would have been more painful than helpful, causing more damage than good. He saw my heart, the condition of my heart, and knew I needed time.
He knew I needed time.
Tossing and turning. Rage. Sadness. Pleading. Relenting. Only to rage once more.
My pain ran deep. Some of them down so far I am not sure where they started, but He was patient with me. He knew I still had questions and events I didn’t understand and contrary to what I thought of Him, He seemed wonderfully accepting of that.
It’s as if His love for me outshined it all.
His love is what has surprised me the most. It’s how He loves. He loves with an intensity I have never seen before. It stays. It doesn’t waver. His love never backs down.
It never backs down, dear sisters.
His love speaks to me as if it has a voice.
Dear one, it says, let me tell you what I see. I don’t’ see you as your hurts. I don’t see you as your pains. Yes, I weep with you over them, but when I look at you I see you as My child, that little child. Beautiful. Strong. So full of life. Even when that is far from how you see yourself, remember that I crafted you and made you. I know you. I see you. I love you.