My nephew died last night…motorcycle accident…34 year old man, dead at the scene…
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…
Bullshit! I want time to go backwards. I want him to be 5 minutes ahead…or behind…where he was in time. I want him to be on another street. I want the driver of the car to be going somewhere else, less distracted, more aware of the community of people sharing the road. I want him to be more that “a 34 year old man, dead at the scene.” I want the world to know him as a person – as a son, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, friend. I want the pain to stop for my family and all who loved him. I want more than the heart can express. And, when all of the above simply can’t happen, I want to hunker down with my family and share the anguish we all feel.
He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul…
Psalm 23 is frequently used at funerals, making it seem like a prayer for those who have left us. It is a actually a prayer for the living. The psalmist sings of a God who holds the reader as a mother holds a child, rocking and soothing our deepest pain, providing the basics that we need until we are able to take the next agonizing breath and the soul learns to live again…bruised and damaged, but filled with a peace that can only come from seeing that God’s love never leaves us. It might be seen in the compassion of friends and family; in the many meals placed on our doorstep; in sharing memories of times we spent with those who are now gone; in the blooming of an iris or the call of a cardinal. Or, it might be in hearing Holy words gently penetrating our hearts in the endless hours of the night when we can’t sleep. Words which can only come from that which loves us more than we can imagine.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me…
What about the times when we can’t find God? When all that is right in the world is turned upside down? When the love you counted on from God seems distant? When you know the valley is a place of ambush? When it’s dark and all that we have ever feared stands right in front of us breathing its putrid breath on our lives? When there is no escape from this evil that suddenly wraps it’s ugly arms around us and squeezes all the desire we have out of us? When it hurts to take the next breath because we can’t see anything but the darkness of our pain?
Yet, we are reminded that light still beams in the world, a light that is forever altered for us – but, is still with us penetrating our darkness and restoring our soul.
Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life…
Somedays goodness and mercy seem just too hard to accept when the injustices of life rob you of someone you love, of safety, and security. Where was God when…? ‘Why, oh Lord’ cries the heart. Anger. Bitterness. Abandonment. ‘Why, oh Lord?’
Love pursues us. Our pain blinds us to it. Love is more persistent than we are; ceaselessly beaconing us; reminding us that life can totally suck, but there is hope that the sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. That the Son rose and will be caring for and nurturing our hearts out of a love so deep and perfect that we find ourselves taking that next breath…and the next…and the next until we know we can live again.
My heart aches…
Mary Miller said:
My dear Linda,
I am so sorry for your loss. I ‘m wrapping you in my arms and heart prayers.
Mary Miller Cook
Sent from Windows Mail
Thank you, Mary. I can feel your love!
Beth Azan said:
Linda, I can feel the intensity of your pain and also the intesity of your hope and faith in the words you so beautifully crafted. I wish I could give you a shoulder to cry on, but hope you find comfort in knowing I love you and will send prayers your way.
Your beautiful prayers gave me the shoulder I needed. Love you, my friend!