Posts tagged sorrow
A Gospel of Sorrow
...rejoicing may end in grief.
– 
Proverbs 14:13

In September of last year, Shawna and I lost our unborn son. The month leading up to that point was horrifically painful as we were being told and shown how poorly his body was being formed. We were four months into what had been an amazingly wonderful time for the two of us when all of this took place. It became the most excruciating experience we've ever encountered...so far.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. While I am still well aware of a void in my life, I don't feel bitterness any longer. What has helped me feel sweetness amidst the overwhelming anguish and grief is observing and savoring the blessings our son gave us and, in many ways, still is.

He expanded Shawna's and my heart to fantastic levels we never imagined possible. He bonded (and is bonding) Shawna and I together in new, deeper, and greater ways. He brought us out of our comfort and into new horizons. He taught me the value of grieving, and acknowledging and feeling the depth of sorrow in life.

Before our son left our lives, I avoided grief and sorrow. Now, I see how much I miss out on with that condition of aversion. Once I allowed myself to see that he is worth  being sad about, my eyes were opened to seeing why  he is worth being sad about. There are so many beautiful and loving reasons to miss him and feel heartbroken. His life is one of the most meaningful ones we've ever encountered. He is worth mourning because he is worth celebrating.

When I avoid grief, I avoid the meaning and beauty of things worth grieving about. Aversion is burdensome.

To all who've lost their child or their father, please have a very wonderful Father's Day. 

Good grief and holy crap...

Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
Proverbs 14:13

The past year has been one full of a lot of heartache for Shawna and I. Even now, things enter our lives that remind us of the condition of our broken hearts. It happens regularly. But, we've never been closer; we've never been more in love. I am eternally grateful for this and know that it is a gift because I see how uncommon it is.

The frailty of life continues to become increasingly apparent, but then, so does the equally increasing value of Love. There is such sorrow in life, but that makes the significance of Love much more apparent and clear. I see people in horrific conditions experience greater joy than I have known because their need/capacity/receptivity to Love is greater than mine, which can be overcrowded by comfort and complacency.

When things hurt, I have a choice to make: defend or accept. I want to accept; to consistently and consciously return to the reason why it hurts: Love and tenderness.

People's capacity to hurt me usually has to do with how much they mean to me. If I don't care about someone, then I usually care very little about what they do to or say about me. But it's when I do care that I become sensitive to their words and actions. Recognizing this, removes their words or actions from the center of my woundedness and attention, so that my love, care, and tenderness can take their rightful place there. Defense mechanisms and pessimism mistakenly cover those wonderful things up.

When I don't remember this, I digress to relying on those defense mechanisms and pessimism to keep me safe, which ultimately makes me numb and cold. When I do remember this, I'm comforted by the knowledge that underneath the pain lies Love and tenderness. There is nothing greater. It gives me eyes to see the goodness in grief and the holiness in crap.

A Gospel of Sorrow...

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5.

Jesus starts off the sermon on the mount with these two poignant statements. The heart of their message is communicated throughout his life and ministry. Yet, we painstakingly avoid our own poverty and mourning. We want to get to that blessedness without all the painfulness. Many times, faith will even be used as a method for trying to remedy or dodge our personal poverty and mourning.

A Black Mother Mary we found on a hill outside an apartment where we used to live.

One of the most endlessly relevant messages found in Jesus' life and death is that we don't have to be afraid of sorrow, poverty, or grief. Most of the chaos in life is found in our trying to escape just being sad. Just being hurt. Just feeling the lack of something we are wanting. He shows us that there's nothing to fear. We can feel sad, mournful, and poor. There's nothing to be afraid of.

If I'm more concerned with Love than I am with comfort, ease, safety, freedom, or wealth, I will find there is an abundance of comfort, ease, safety, freedom, and wealth in an Abiding Love.

1 John 4:18 helps explain this psychological feat of Jesus' in a real way, "Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear." It doesn't say that Love will never invoke sadness or pain or loss, but it will expel the fear of those things.