“We ourselves shall be loved for awhile and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses
of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”
― Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey
This is a powerful and moving blog post about honouring grief at Christmas. For those of you who have lost a loved one I highly recommend this article. It will give words to your grief and it will guide you through these Christmas days. We honour each and every one of you and the people that you mourn. They are always with you in your heart and in your memories. Hope that you find a place for your memories of and love for – your loved one this Christmas.
Our society is terrified of death. We work tirelessly to keep it at bay, we teach our children to fear it, because we fail to teach them about it. So when it comes we are shocked and unprepared to accept the loss. A culture that is in denial will always struggle with acceptance.
Life is wild. It rolls at us like the breakers of the sea. Smashing against us and then drawing us out into deep water where we fear we may drown. At times the water is still and calm, but inevitably it will stir up again with some wind of change or discontent. Yet Gods faithfulness remains. His characteristics of love, comfort, peace, kindness, endurance, strength, gentleness, goodness, mercy and grace never waiver never change.
If we truly want to be bearers of hope, peace and love, then we need to firstly be those who walk with understanding and compassion. Focus your thoughts on all the good things about Christmas–the opportunity to engage in loving kindness, generosity of spirit, and gratitude for others in your life.
Disbelief gives way to shock which seeps into your veins like a benevolent anesthetic. This numbness allows you to voice the unthinkable. To patiently inform children, parents, siblings and loving friends that the man they love is sick and that the doctors can’t fix him. Some instinct tells you to speak to them carefully, gently, like fragile children. You know that the power of your words will break hearts and change lives.
Lament has been systematically removed from most forms of worship within the Western Church, specifically the Western Pentecostal Church, to the point that it is no longer legitimate to offer a challenge, protest or complaint to God in worship. Hard to imagine any song for the Director of Music in the modern church commencing with:
How long, O Lord, Will you forget me forever, How long will you hide your face from me.
In this world of pain and conflict, who is doing the comforting? Lament is to admit that things have gone horribly wrong.