Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Walking With Kindness

What is required of us is to do justice, love kindness,
and walk humbly with our God. Micah 6:8

Most of life is lived after the parades are over. 

I can see the prophet Micah walking behind a crowd that is celebrating a religious holiday, and noticing people sitting on the side after the parade has passed by. Wondering why, he goes over to find out. 

Some people are grieving. Some have no food. Some have no permanent place to live. They are hoping that by coming here, they will feel a moment of hope that will lighten the burdens they carry. I see him sitting down and listening to them share their struggles and tears.

He does not preach to them. He does not scold them because they aren’t thankful for the goodness of life. He does not tell them that they would be happy if their faith in God was strong enough. 

He says none of this. He knows that life right now feels like a tragedy. He knows that words of joy have only surface meaning. One day he will remind them of God’s glory. One day he will encourage them to give thanks to God for what they still have. But today he knows that what they need is the presence of others.

He walks alongside them in their sorrow, and simply says that God loves them, and he loves them, and he will walk with them until they are feeling better. His presence helps them feel not so alone. This is what being a community of faith means. This is the heart of the Gospels. 

While our faith can take away the “why” of a death, in that we believe it has happened because of God’s plan, even if we do not understand or agree with it, faith does not take away the grief we feel over the loss of someone we dearly loved, someone who has been central to our life.

We should not say to those in our community, “Come back when you’re over the death of your stillborn child,” “Come back when you’ve adjusted to your husband’s death.” “Come back when your cancer is in remission.” We are connected to their sorrow, and we need to help them bear their grief.

We are all struggling with something. Kindness from others enables us to get through.