“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” (Matthew 5:4)
Grief is a pain we all experience; loss a natural cycle of life marked by endings and beginnings. We might grieve the loss of certain periods of time-lur youth, our college years, the end of a wonderful vacation. We might grieve the loss of important places-our childhood home, a community in which we felt welcome, a place where we experienced personal growth. We might grieve the loss of meaningful things-our first car, old photographs, a treasured piece of art. But death, of course, brings the most poignant pain.
The poet Marie Howe describes her brother’s death as a making of space, a gate through which she, too, wsould eventually pass. Her brother’s body was taller, she writes, and younger, “done at twenty-eight.” The pain of Howe’s loss is palpable.
In the midst of the pain of loss, God shows up. God is present as Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. With each ending, God promises a new beginning, for those lost and those left behind. People aren’t replaceable. But love remains no matter which side of the gate we stand on.
Examine: Sit with your feelings of loss. Breathe. Notice thoughts and feelings that arise. Notice your body’s response.
Imagine: Imagine yourself before a gate. On the other side of the gate you see he person, place experience for which you mourn. picture your loss shining with vibrant joy. Feel the love passing back and forth between the gate. Visualize your emptiness being filled with this love.
Pray: Free me from pain, O God, so I can live with healing.