I’ve been revisiting old blogs, and found this today. Appropriate because I am speaking on Lament and Grief this coming Sunday, November 10. (First Baptist Vernon, if you are interested! The message will be recorded, for those who want to listen).
I wrote the following blog in September of 2013. My mama died that year, and I was grieving. I was encouraged as I reviewed my words, and the words from Lamentations. I hope you will be encouraged as well.
Balancing Joy and Lament
Life is a balancing act. To keep things in balance when all is well is one thing. But then the storms do come…
Last night I was awoken in the early morning by a storm… as many were, from conversations I had today. The thunder shook the house, and the lightening sent streaks of light beaming into our open window. And then the rain came, with the wind, intense in its fury.
It was good to be inside, warm, snug and just listen and watch.
After a while I fell asleep… and awoke to peace. The sun was shining, patches of blue, with promises of warmth, birds singing, the air smelling fresh. I was reminded of Lamentations 3 where there is great descriptions of darkness and trouble and then the writer declares: “Great is His faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning”.
There is a time for lament. And Lamentations 3 has become one of my favourite passages of poetry. There is no denying the darkness, the struggle, the questions; they are all there. And then comes hope.
One of my favourite authors and spiritual mentors is Henri Nouwen. He writes much about death and life, and how we hold them both… every day. We don’t deny death and its reality, but we constantly have a choice… to choose to live.
I think this is where the balancing act comes in. While we acknowledge the sad, the challenges, the questions, the uncertainties, we also can choose life. To choose joy, to cherish moments, to spread happiness through smiles, hugs, acts of kindness. To see beauty all around us. To value one another and love unconditionally.
And there will be times when we become off balance. The storm will hit. We feel the pain. And that is when we live by hope and trust, in a God who cares. Who knows my name.