The Lowest Places
He sits beside us in the lowest places of our lives, like water. Are we broken? He is broken with us. Are we rejected? …Do people misunderstand us, turn away from us? They hid their faces from him as from an outcast, a leper. Is our love betrayed? Are our tenderest relationships broken? He too loved and was betrayed by the ones he loved. “He came unto his own and his own received him not.” Does it seem sometimes as if life has passed us by or cast us out, as if we are sinking into uselessness and oblivion? He sinks with us. He too is passed over by the world. …God is love, as the sun is fire and light, and he can no more stop loving than the sun can stop shining. …If he does not heal all our broken bones and loves and lives now, he comes into them and is broken, like bread, and we are nourished. And he shows us that we can henceforth use our very brokenness as nourishment for those we love… Our very failures may help other lives; our very tears help wipe away tears; our being hated helps those we love. …The solution to our suffering is our suffering! All our suffering can become part of his work, the greatest work ever done, the work of salvation, of helping to win for those we love eternal joy.
– Peter Kreeft, from the Lenten devotional Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
Grieving your dreams is like running from the Terminator. The fight never ends, it only changes. You can keep killing the grief, a thousand times, in a thousand ways, but it keeps coming back at you in different guises. It can catch you off guard, and as you recognize it for what it is, you think You again? How can this be? I watched you fall into that cauldron full of lava!
Or this (weird) image I thought of recently: it’s like a burning stack of papers on a stone floor. You carefully, thoughtfully burn your way through all the layers, and eventually you hit the solid ground, the quiet baseline that will always be with you. You feel the landing in your soul, a completion, a peace at having reached the bottom. But what you don’t know is that there’s a string fuse at the bottom, and it leads to a new, different stack of papers. So when that stack starts to burn, you’re discouraged and, frankly, angry. You wonder if there is any point to it all. You wonder if there will ever be real beauty to replace the ashes.
I don’t know what the above quote looks like, in a practical sense, in my life. I don’t know if God will ever heal some of my broken bones, or how to really gain comfort from His presence in them, or how to make them part of His work. I believe that it’s all true, but it’s hard when you can’t feel or see it. You just keep sitting in the dark, waiting for some kind of light.
About Brenda W.
Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister’s iced tea.View all posts by Brenda W. →
Posted in faith, grief