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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Enduring the Grieving Moment

There’s always the moment lurking,
Threatening to break on through,
That moment of the heart’s grief,
That moment all too true!
The grieving moment arrives,
Without warning it always comes,
Even in the midst of joy,
Suddenly it bemusingly numbs.
God counsels, “Go ever so gently,”
At such an anguished time,
When meaning is cruelly rich,
And out of it
We want to climb.
Now endure this pain,
If at all you can,
For you may soon find
That this very pain,
Is the making
Of a new woman or man.
Grief isn’t always a constant sadness. Often it’s moments that take us by storm; that threaten to derail our day in anxiety or depression. It may be ten in the morning and all is well, when suddenly a flicker of memory breaks over the horizon of consciousness; a panic attack ensues, or a grievous loneliness, or an irreconcilable anger which tries ever so fervently to cover up for the irrepressible sadness we may have no answer for.
***
Grief is so often something that creeps up on us unsuspectingly. We acknowledge that; those of us who have lived its reality recently. But we can ask ourselves, is there any good purpose in being caught unawares so routinely? At the time it can seem a cruel waste of time. But, I believe there is a very sound purpose, even a divine role, in being subjected to something so estranged to control, routinely. We learn to rely less on our own resources and more on what only God can supply.
Enduring the grieving moment – the sting that springs up surreptitiously – is made easier when we reflect on the hope that the more moments of grief we endure, the more resilient we become, because we learn time and again that ‘this, too, shall pass’. We find that we can get through each one, though it doesn’t make the pain any less an issue. But we do find that strength is waged in God’s faithfulness, and none of us knows just how faithful God is until we see how he responds when we rely on him routinely enough.
***
We can trust grief. It is a transforming thing; a process of renewal is under way. But we need faith to endure moments of pain that come without warning. If we endure the moment, negotiating it, finding we can do it, enduring the moment becomes easier.
Grief is the profoundest of life lessons. Let’s not despise it.
***
When we endure the grieving moment later moments of grief are easier endured.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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