Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Reflections in Grief
This was the week when my son Paul died...a year ago, in a few days. This morning I opened the Psalms to a random page and read this: "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing." (Psalm 30:11). ‘Um, no; but I guess it's an affirmation, speaking into being, looking forward to when that happens’, I thought.
I found myself wondering if David wrote those words about ‘mourning turning into dancing’ before or after his son Absalom died. Surely he must have written them about some other mourning than that of a son.
They say there is nothing like a good cry but sometimes I wonder if there is any such thing as a good cry. It doesn’t seem so at the time while your head is hurting and your eyes are stinging.
But then, as I cry out to God in anguish that I will never see my son again in this life or hear his voice, then that same thought comes to me once again that has held me up so many times: I would not deprive him of the joy I believe he now has! And although I’m not quite up to dancing, the thought brings joy with it.
We watch so many terrible things happening in this world. Sometimes we are even a small part of some of them ourselves, through our gossip or bickering, indifference or judging. What a consolation to know that there is a better life! In the meantime, we prepare for it, as my son Paul did, as my sister Chris did, as I'm sure some of your relatives and loved ones have done. We prepare by love, by opening ourselves to God's love and by loving others.
Although we suffer here, through love we can begin to experience a little of heaven on earth, where we can dance in God's love, until we hear him say one day, "Come, O Blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34).
And then we will experience, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)