Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grief, a Wily Foe! Hope, a Valiant Comrade

Looking back, I can hardly see how I have survived with any sort of existence these last 3 years: through Sondra’s cancer, death, and continued absence. I still choke at the glimpse of a picture, the mention of her name, or the frequent glimpse of memorabilia around our home, or the home of her parents. Healing has come, but grief is a wily foe. It seems it is never conquered, and even when the smallest battle is won, the mere thought of relief seems to return you to your grief, for “grief” wants to tell you that recovery in itself is a loss of hope: as if recovering from grief is due in part to a forgetting of the grieved, a lessening of the loved, and despairing of loving at all. For if we are so easily forgotten, where is the greatness in love? Yet if we don’t somehow release our grip on these memories of love, can we fully experience more love. If we can release our grip, it will release its grip on us. Those memories will return, floating, and more accurate and real, if we allow them to be remembered for what they are, but not revered as more than they are. Somehow we must find a new place to hold our lost loved ones in high regard, not only remembered, but revered in a way that rejoices at the memory, and the hope of our reunion in glory, the glory of Heaven and the presence of the one that made Heaven possible, yea, that made Heaven, and Earth, and the Earth to come! It is only the thoughts and hopes of heaven and glorious reunion that foils the grip of grief, and wins the battle of our wily foe. Next time you turn the corner and win a battle over grief, remember that even when grief returns, it is but for a season, for God has numbered grief, as the days of this present age, but who numbers the days of eternity? When we enter into eternity with God, this present age, with its grief will be as a mist disappearing in the sunrise! Oh, Glorious Day!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes!

This will make you cry as it blesses your socks off!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Fog is Clearing!

I’m alive again.

It’s been a year and a half since I lost Sondra. I have been strengthened by the Lord and observing His precepts, and depending on His Truth to sustain me, but . . .

I feel that ever since the day Sondra was diagnosed with cancer, I have been in overload mode, fight or flight, survival mode . . .

So many people have come to my aid . . .

So much has taught me so much . . .

Yet I have been rocked to the very core of my being.

I have trembled while standing on the Solid Rock of salvation.

I have shaken while being held by the unmistakable, unshakable Christ.

I have tried to steer my ship toward shore, though there was none in sight, and nary a star to guide by.

It’s like going into a fog bank, and losing all of your senses that allow you to navigate, yet having to navigate each new day, with people depending on you to show them the way. In the dense fog you begin to see bright lights piercing the darkness. Are they friend of foe? Do I steer toward them like a guiding light, or could they be the beam of a light house warning of impending doom of the rocks and shallow waters too dangerous to negotiate? I still have my spiritual compass, to follow what is right as prescribed by heaven. I still have a hope that endures, a joy that is independent of happiness and the experience of grace, mercy and love that comes from the Father of all giving the ultimate assurance of our ultimate end. But what of happiness, what of feelings, what of the aloneness I feel at night when I am used to the oneness that only can be found in the touchable presence of ones other half to whom God has joined you into one. For a long time now, only my dear sweet child has come close to bridging the gulf from the joy of our Lord to the happiness of feelings the tells your soul, you are not alone! Lily has truly brought happiness to my darkest days and helped sustain me. Yet I have tried to fill her emptiness when I was near empty myself. I have had so much help with her, to help sustain her and give her a measure of what her mother wanted so badly to supply. And now, in the fog, in the darkness, a touch, a hand of friendship like so many friendly hands in the past, yet different, able to speak words, and even volumes in the mere touch of a hand. I know that over the past two years I have never really been alone, for I know my Christ has always been there, yet I have known that by faith. I have also known that many have experienced similar fates, and have found their way to restoration. But, alas, what I have known only by faith, I can now feel, and may one day see. Yes, like the ultimate gift of Christ, there is completion only when faith becomes sight, and hope becomes reality. When faith becomes feeling, smelling, touching, hearing, seeing! Our senses are restored! I’m alive again! Faith has become sight, and what has been only hoped for is real for the first time! That is resurrection. That is restoration, which is the newness that only God can give. I’m alive again.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Good Grief Charlie Brown

Grief is a good and necessary part of dealing with loss. A necessary evil, if you will. I believe it is easier analyzed when looking a particular situations or losses. Take Prince Charles' Lady Diana, and our recent loss of James Brown. Lady Di was seen as such a tragedy; a tragic loss, if you will. She was such an innocent: a young teacher caught up in the pomp and circumstance of Englandish, if not outlandish, royalty, then scandal and tabloid exploitation. The same exploitation fueled the paparazzi that chased her limo to the tragic end of a car wreck and multiple deaths. Lady Di, a true innocent, mother, beauty, dieing young; leaving behind young children to be raised by an estranged spouse in a corrupt system of royal family. The whole world seemed to mourn this loss. Then more recently, there was James Brown. A master musician and icon of the Afro-American struggle for freedom and respect. He lived a long, lucrative life, accomplishing much, revered by multitudes, and dying in an honorable old age. Mourned by many, but differently, respectfully, and with a sense of resolution. Loss, mourning, grieving in both situations, but one a timely death, a timely loss; the other, so untimely, so tragic. Here lies one of the key differences causing people to grieve so differently. With faith in an afterlife, in a Creator who is in ultimate control of the universe, there is completion and a sense of fruition when we see a life end in old age with a completion of their life's work, and accomplishment of their goals. Conversely, when we see someone die young, with young children, weather by accident or illness, it seems so untimely and abrasive to nature and God's system. Yet, if we still believe in faith, and God's control over His creation, we try to reconcile our faith with our circumstances, maybe even adjusting our world view to try to unify our beliefs with our experience.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Sometimes things that puzzle us draw us into the puzzle we are attempting to solve. Instead of working the puzzle, we become puzzled! Fragmented! We want for a box lid to see how this puzzle goes back together!
Notice in the above puzzle the one child working the puzzle on solid ground, outside the puzzle. He is speaking to and handing a puzzle piece to a girl standing on/in the puzzle and acutally casting a shadow on the wall of the picture. The next child is running up the street!
Much the way the above children are drawn into the actual puzzle, Christ, the creator of us and the world that often puzzles us, entered His creation and not only became part of the puzzle, but became the missing piece. He completes us! Sometimes we expect our mate to fill that void, but that is placing entirely too much responsibility on their shoulders. If we will allow ourselves to completed in Christ, allowing our mate to be completed in Christ, we can live in fellowship and supporting one another when we stumble. Otherwise, we are fallen and we can't get up!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Living Life as if you had a Choice!

So often today we meet people who are living in a type of bondage or living under the control of some outside force, circumstance or situation. Too often, we find ourselves in such a predicament.
This should not be the case.
If we were meant to live a life of bondage, God would have us bound to Him. God wants us to be under the Control of the Holy Spirit, and by that I mean directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. This type of control is not bondage, unless you see it as bondage of Love. It is a chosen bondage that paradoxically sets us free.
I see people who are married, and miserable. They complain about their mate, their problems, and start looking for a way out. I want to thump them on the head! Marriage is not to be bondage, but bound together in love.
It is amazing how things can change when we put God first, family second and so on. I'm not saying it's easy, but in the long run, it is easier God's way; and so much better.
I've seen others who are single and miserable and want to be married so bad, thinking: Marriage would solve everything. That's not true either.
Paul said: "are you bound to a wife? Don't seek to be loosed! Are you single? Don't seek to be bound!" We are to give thanks to God in all things. Paul said that he was able to be content in whatever situation he found himself. That's because he new that God knew where He was and had allowed Him to be there for a purpose.
When we begin seeking God for our path each day, we can find similar contentment in the fact that God sent us there for a reason.
The choice is yours!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tears are the Rain of Pain, but don't let Pain Reign!

It still hurts so bad at times.
Sometimes I just want to go walk aimlessly, so everyone will know how aimless I feel. I just want to hit a wall with my fist so everyone will know how angry I am, and I want it to leave a big hole so people can see how deeply I hurt.

God has brought so much peace into my life about it all, but the waves of despair are still there.

Such contrast of feelings, and contrary emotions. Can there be an end to the cycle? If the cycle does end, could it please end on the up side?
The whole thing is like a roller coaster ride: when your slowing down the most is when you're the highest in the air, and just when you approach solid ground, you're going at break neck speed. You're at the mercy of whoever is at the controls.

Are they waves of despair or just waves of emotion? Is it truly anger, or just an intense desire that somehow it could have been different?

Somewhere deep in that emotion, I'm not screeming "you did this" but "I want. . . "

Losing Sondra just left a big hole, and I don't want it to just go away as if she didn't matter, I want to fill it! I don't want some Icon or memory device to just remind me of what it's like for someone to really know you, I want to know someone that way again, and be able to say, yes, that's what it's like! I want to take what I've learned into a new relationship, and be able to experience life, to share life, to give and to receive.

As far as hitting that wall, what I really want is for people to know that I have wanted to hit that wall, but it's by God's Grace that I haven't. It's during those times of intense emotion, that the Faith of Christ has sustained me. What I want is for people to understand the intensity of despair I feel at times, but to know that my stability through it all is . . .

Only by God's Grace.

Click on the picture above and watch it rain. Just by looking at the picture, you would never know how many tears had fallen. The Bible says we are to weep with those that weep. This last year has truely given me the capacity to feel the pain of others. God has given a gift in the midst of pain, and I need to learn how to share it with the body. The gift is compassion and empathy.

Only by God's Grace.