Cross of grief
Recently I found myself sitting in my favorite chair and asking God to stop the spinning thoughts in my head. A song came to my mind…..an old, old hymn. “Be Still My Soul” I couldn’t remember the words, so I looked it up. It is a beautiful old hymn, and it seemed like it was written just for me.
One verse really grabbed me. “Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.” I pondered this for many days. I have always considered Matthew 16:24, where Jesus tells the disciples (and us) to take up our cross and follow, to mean that we are to follow Him clear to death – to be willing to die for our beliefs. How can I pick up a cross of grief? It really is my desire to put my pain down. It hurts. I don’t like it. It’s easier to bury it deep inside.
Slowly God has answered my questions. Everywhere I look there is pain and grief. Loss is everywhere. If I am willing to pick up my cross of grief and pain, then I can walk into other people’s pain, and they will know that I understand. It will offer them hope.
I spoke in my last blog about healing….and how it means to allow joy into a heart of pain. The danger to joy, however, is that I deny the pain. Ugh. Bearing patiently the cross of grief, means that when I see pain in the eyes of someone, I am willing to pick up my own painful heart and go there. Let myself hurt with them….. For the rest of my life, let myself feel pain. So that I can be used of God to bring hope, and joy, to both myself and others. Oof.
It’s living in the middle – embracing my pain, embracing my joy. When I see someone else in pain, it’s going there, following Jesus there, experiencing my own pain in their eyes, and talking about it. It’s giving them permission to keep their pain, but telling them there’s hope to find joy too. It’s embracing the joy of myself and others too. It’s allowing myself to love another child without guilt. It’s laughing til I cry and crying til I laugh.