Grief walks slowly. If I want to walk with her, I mustn’t be in a hurry. Steady, quiet patience guides us down the tear-stained path, well-worn by the brave who passed this way before on the road to wholehearted love. For none shall make it to such a place without learning to walk with grief. Let me hold her hand. Though she walks in the dark, together we are not alone.
Perhaps healing is like breathing. Discovering a place of rest within this moment’s exchange where past gives birth to present and future slips carelessly into ‘morrow. Or perhaps it is future in travail, and the past is ever being carried away from us with the falling tide of dids and shoulds and wished I woulds. Either way there is healing in the letting go.
Inhale – today;
Exhale – yesterday.
Inhale – I belong, here, in this now;
Exhale – all that expired with the last day’s ‘now’.
Inhale – I am sustained by Him Who holds all things together;
Exhale – I don’t think I fully survived that last round, Lord.
We all have graves. We can look back over our journey and say, “Yes, a part of me died there.”
Etched on our hearts are the scars where individual moments threatened to swallow us whole as we watched in horror as all that our fragile lives rested upon crumbled. Perhaps we marveled at all the potential a single second could contain as it bore down upon us, crushing our child-like, confident expectation in goodness. Splinters of our dearly-held perceptions littered the floor of our shattered world and we closed our eyes hoping, praying it was all just a really bad dream.
In the aftermath we looked up as bereft children to our Papa and cried out in pain and desperation as accusing, enemy arrows rained down upon our raw, bleeding hearts. I have come to believe that where I find my anchor in the minutes and hours immediately following tragedy will either bear me through to resurrection or it will bury me beneath a sea of self-entitled preservation.
The questions roll in wave after wave:
Who are You to me, Lord, in this new place?
What do I do now?
When will You change this?
Where are You; I can’t see?
Why did this happen?
Or if I’m really honest... Why did You let this happen?
The questions are real. The pain is real. The loss is real. Real must be acknowledged.
But real is not my rudder.
Truth is the only one fit lead. The rest: emotions, will and thought can follow close behind.
The Truth is: You are holy, even in and through my mess.
The Truth is: Now is not forever, and this too shall pass.
The Truth is: Jesus Christ is alive and well on the Throne, both in heaven and in my heart.
Do I trust You when it matters, when it really counts? Do I trust you when my life depends on it? Do I trust You in the breaking? Your Word says You work all things together for good. Do I trust that one day our versions of ‘good’ will collide and my temporal will give way to Your eternal?
Maybe. One thing I do know - We pass over the threshold of tomorrow by way of a cascading, sequential, ever-flowing stream of nows. If I can receive this breath as a gift from my Father and as the sustaining power for this moment’s, “yes, I trust You,” then tomorrow’s “yes” is just a further unfolding of today’s.