Category Archives: sorrow

The Real Grinch Who Steals CHRISTmas

(Originally blogged December 6, 2010)

I woke up to a new week.

A busy, busy week.

A week filled with wonderful holiday activities we love and never-ending chores we don’t really love. The never ending doctor visits adds its normal light frustration and concern.
This morning, to borrow a phrase from blogger friend Nan, "Christmas threw up in my living room." It’s looked that way for days. I haven’t had a time slot long enough to finish decorating.

My laundry room grew a mountain over the weekend. If it continues at this rate, I may need a professional guide or crampons to conquer it.

My single sox must have eaten all the food in my cupboard before they ran away.

Monday looms like an unfriendly foe in my heart and mind.

But, really, it isn’t just the house and the demands on my life that made me not want to face the day or the week.

Four years ago today, my husband and I lost a child to miscarriage. I had this weird notion that someday I would "get over it." I thought maybe I wouldn’t have the bouts of weeping nobody can enter in. You never "get over it."

The loved ones’ absence, instead of presence, graces every moment, every day and ever celebration, an uninvited guest that refuses to give up their seat around the family table. Sorrow and loss is the real Grinch that wants to steal CHRISTmas and every other moment of joy. The real Grinch can steal something as small as a normal grocery shopping trip, when it ends in tears and a retreat out of the store.

The Lord understands the loss of a child. In Proverbs 30:15-16, He tells us that are four things that NEVER stop their devastation.

"There are three things that are never satisfied,

Four never say, “Enough!”:

The grave,

The barren womb,

The earth that is not satisfied with water—

And the fire never says, “Enough!”

Drive to Shiloh 078

He compares the loss of a loved one and the emptiness of a womb to the horrific natural disasters of drought and fire. He knows the agony of loss and of suffering.

The treatment for all four is virtually the same. Drought and fire need to be saturated with water from the Heavens. The empty heart and empty womb need to be saturated with Living water from the Heavens.

It’s easy to see the morning as an impossibility to face. I choose to let these many things be the reason I face today and this week with faith and grace, not the excuse to ignore my world.

A quick Word study on "morning" gave me the Living water I need for the drought of my aching heart.

Psalm 5:3
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

Psalm 59:16
But I will sing of Your power;
Y
es, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.

Psalm 119:147
I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.




This morning, I’m not letting the Grinch of sorrow and loss steal the joy of CHRIST from my life.

I’m seeking His Living Waters to quench the natural disasters of my heart.

 

returning from war

in 7th grade i had a homeroom teacher who had just returned from viet nam.
the first day of class,
he said war was so horrible, he didn’t want us to ask questions.
very firmly, very politely, he repeated his request.
he told us if he felt like sharing a story,
he would. 
i was glad he explained that to me.
for years i had watched war clips on the news.
i hadn’t been mature enough to associate
pain, loss and suffering with statistics
and pictures that seemed adventurous to a kid.
occasionally, he would tell a funny story,
like the time some village boys were rubbing their tummies
and licking their lips in anticipation of a delicious
meal they were going to share with the soldiers.
 the soldiers noticed the entire bowl of food was moving.
when they drew near,
they saw an entire bowl of caterpillars,
standing up on end,
moving in hairy rhythm.
i’m also thinking about  a story i read about  a woman
 who had grown up with a withdrawn mother.
as she grew up, she faulted her mother for her own struggles in life.
until,
she found out her mother lost her entire family in the Holocaust.
her pain was so great,
she couldn’t speak of her loss,
even to her own children.
healing came when the daughter  understood and accepted
  her mother withdrew  to
spare her the pain,
not cause her pain.
the mother’s love had been there all the time,
she was trying to live as normally as she could.
today, i’m returning to real life
as a mommy and a gramma.
i have to figure out how to keep living
when part of me died.
i have to figure out when to talk,
and when not to.
i have to learn to endure the pain,
without causing pain.
and i have to learn to refuse those caterpillars,
those waving, hairy beasts in my tummy,
that steal my appetite and my peace.
like my teacher/soldier,
i know they’re not nourishment.

returning from war

in 7th grade i had a homeroom teacher who had just returned from viet nam.
the first day of class,
he said war was so horrible, he didn’t want us to ask questions.
very firmly, very politely, he repeated his request.
he told us if he felt like sharing a story,
he would.
i was glad he explained that to me.
for years i had watched war clips on the news.
i hadn’t been mature enough to associate
pain, loss and suffering with statistics
and pictures that seemed adventurous to a kid.
occasionally, he would tell a funny story,
like the time some village boys were rubbing their tummies
and licking their lips in anticipation of a delicious
meal they were going to share with the soldiers.
 the soldiers noticed the entire bowl of food was moving.
when they drew near,
they saw an entire bowl of caterpillars,
standing up on end,
moving in hairy rhythm.
i’m also thinking about  a story i read about  a woman
 who had grown up with a withdrawn mother.
as she grew up, she faulted her mother for her own struggles in life.
until,
she found out her mother lost her entire family in the Holocaust.
her pain was so great,
she couldn’t speak of her loss,
even to her own children.
healing came when the daughter  understood and accepted
  her mother withdrew  to
spare her the pain,
not cause her pain.
the mother’s love had been there all the time,
she was trying to live as normally as she could.
today, i’m returning to real life
as a mommy and a gramma.
i have to figure out how to keep living
when part of me died.
i have to figure out when to talk,
and when not to.
i have to learn to endure the pain,
without causing pain.
and i have to learn to refuse those caterpillars,
those waving, hairy beasts in my tummy,
that steal my appetite and my peace.
like my teacher/soldier,
i know they’re not nourishment.

eat. sleep. breathe.

a friend gave my husband some good advice as
we traveled the last few weeks of
the Innocent Man’s life before trial.
don’t forget to sleep.
don’t forget to eat.
don’t forget to breathe.
for the past week through the trial i was barely able 
to eat or sleep.
if breathing didn’t come naturally,  i’d be dead.
last night i found the t-shirt he wore his last day of freedom.
as i curled up in my bed at night,
hoping and praying to sleep enough to survive,
i  held it to my face,
comforted by his lingering scent.
i grieved the day when the scent would be gone,
and i would have no physical reminder
of his presence.
for hours i lay there in the dark,
exhausted, but unable to sleep.
the sound of silence in my ears
was like the static buzz of a tv off-station.
the heartbeat pounding in my ears
assured me i was still alive.
i’ve learned, the sound of a breaking heart
can keep you awake.
i was laying broken, lost and alone
in the deep well of my grief.
when i finally awoke from sleep broken
with agony and sorrow, i faced the first day
of life with the Innocent Man behind bars.
after being awake for a few hours,
i was able to eat more than saltines
for the first time in days.
 with the queasiness gone,
the first few bites tasted good.
but when i thought about what
the Innocent Man was eating,
i lost my appetite.
i kept eating because i needed to.
i have to survive.
i have to keep living.
but, the rest of my salad
tasted like sorrow.
i’m trying to
sleep.
i’m trying to
eat.
and though gasping  sobs often overtake me,
i’m trying to
breath.

It’s Not a MESSAGE in the Lord’s Bottle…

We’ve all had those nights when
worries,
fears,
regrets,
terrors,
frustrations,
longings,
 and pain
rob us of our
faith,
peace,
and sleep.
The Lord knows the human heart well.
He looks down with tenderness and specifically penned words
to assure us He undersands.
How poetic,
how humbling,
that the God of the Universe,
the Creator,
the Father of our Lovely Savior,
understands the tears of crying humans.
Psalm 6:6
I am weary with my groaning;
all the night make I my bed to swim;
I water my couch with my tears.
He doesn’t just notice our tears,
He saves them.
Psalm 56:8
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
Then, He turns our tears to a tune.

Psalm 77:6
I call to remembrance my song in the night:
I commune with mine own heart:
and my spirit made diligent search.
The last mention of tears in the Holy Scriptures
tells us His final plans for them.
Revelation 21:4
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death,
 neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.


Tears are a normal part of life.

You can make them a normal part of your worship,
as you daily commit what causes you to weep to Him in prayer.

It’s when you thank  Him for counting your tears
precious enough to be saved
that your tears become a song in the night.

Then, you have the courage to keep walking in faith,
weeping,
rejoicing,
and waiting,
for His world-creating Hands
to wipe that final tear from your eyes.

That thought is enough to make me weep.

But, it’s OK to cry.
I know where my tears are going.