The Moment of Parting…
Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA
For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. -Revelation 7:15-17
At one time or another in our lives we each come to that difficult moment of saying our final good-bye to loving parents who nurtured us, siblings, precious friends. We’ve walked beside others who are mourning close relationships they knew and loved. We’ve said over and over, “If there\’s anything I can do…” But, when it’s our turn to mourn, those same words, all the practiced lines and heartfelt sympathies lovingly sent our way, the inevitable “If there’s anything I can do” fall on deaf ears. In reality, the best thing anyone can do is to be there. The spirit of presence, the hugs, the love extended, are the best human comfort that we can give.
I recently lost my last sibling. I had three brothers at one time; too soon they are gone from my sight. Memories, shared joys and sorrows, flood in like cream rising to the top. Thinking of all the things I didn’t say, didn’t do for them, causes me to sink lower. The depression fades a little one day; on another all the “what if’s” spring to the surface and I am brought to tears. Messages of love pour in with a goal of lifting me up. The grieving process takes time-it’s different for everyone. After a while, I will feel the need to get hold of my emotions and give myself a talking to, saying, “There’s something I can do. He would not want me to go through life with this long face. He would want me to share joy.” I still have the gift of life and opportunities abound for me to share God’s comfort, to wipe away tears from others’ grieving eyes, for I too have been there. And so, I write:
Raise up my eyes and spirit low.
The time has come to let him go.
When I am blinded by my tears
I cannot recall all the beautiful years.
If I could see where he is now,
I would stop my weeping and simply bow
For he’s in the arms of my Savior and Lord.
Where there\’s no more pain-only His Word.
What more could I ask to comfort my soul.
For eternity was always his-and my goal.
There’s still so much work for me to do, and
I feel him saying, “Go on with life-I’ll be watching you.”
“Over the years we melt into what we seek” (Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year).
We are in the threshold between seasons in the Christian calendar. You may have been noticing the physical transitions of the seasons wherever you live as some enter the depths of winter and others the warmth of summer. The seasons are a visible reminder that even among the most predictable rhythms and routines of our lives, change is always happening. The events of our moments, days, weeks, years form us and transform us over time. We enter each season different from when we arrived here last. This is the nature of this cyclical journey of faith. In these final days of the Christian calendar and the season of Ordinary time, there is opportunity to take a sacred pause, to notice how you arrive in this threshold. What have you been formed by this year? What has been deepening you as you’ve lived through another cycle of this life of faith?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.