Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Must still be a "time to mourn"

Sorry I haven't been posting too much lately. I have been busy with ministry and family, but that's not really the reason I've lagged on posting. I have started several posts only to quit writing.

Very honestly, I'm still grieving the loss of my father. I try to put his death out of my mind, but I think of it pretty consistently still six weeks later. In talking with folks who have gone through grief like this, I am dealing with something common but crappy. Everyone will have their time(s) to grieve in this sin-torn world. I try to dwell on good thoughts and memories about Dad, but such an exercise leads me right back to the memory of his death and the impossibility of interacting with him this side of heaven...and very honestly, right now heaven seems an awful long way away.

I think the relatively sudden nature of his passing and the gnawing feeling that things could have been different had a few medical decisions and actions been done differently make it tougher. Don't get me wrong for a second- I don't doubt God's will or sovereignty in any of this, but being human, I struggle to reconcile my feelings with what I know to be true about God.

As I shared with my congregation this past Sunday, being in the midst of a storm draws you to greater dependence on God. I definitely sense my helplessness apart from God and have been far more prayerful than ever before. My anchor continues to be Christ's ultimate victory over death. Christ the victor is my sure and wonderful hope.

So when the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote (3:4)-there's a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance- he never told us how long these periods go on. I'd really like to know such a thing...right now I can't really picture dancing, but I know God's Word is true.

I could say more, but I'm burned out on talking about it.


Malcolm said...

Bro, my opinion on this is to embrace the mourning. Don't confuse this with wallowing in self pity. I lost my parents 4 days apart, but they weren't the vigorous people that bit T was. The tough one was my brother at age 57. It was a 2 year battle with cancer. It was literally years before I stopped mourning the loss, but I have tears in my eyes as I type this. I am not a believer in "closure" in this type of emotional journey. It won't go away suddenly and it is not a sign of weakness that you are still mourning after only a month. I thought about my brother several times a day for a long, long time. The most troublesome part of it was that he, as far as I know, never came to know the Lord. I would encourage you to think about Tony as much as you can and not try to wrench the thoughts of your mind. I have no trite bits of advice. However you know better than anyone how blessed your relationship was with big T. Go ahead and mourn. Don't feel weak or ashamed. Keep telling us more. We are blessed by it.

Pat said...

I agree with Malcolm - I've also learned from experience to deal with grief while it's still fresh, even though it's painful. Face up to each "first" as it comes - don't try to escape it. I've found I can usually handle the things I'm prepared for - it's the things that come unexpectedly that get to me.

Woody Woodward said...

I don’t know which one made me cry more, your heart wrenching expressions or the comforting words of wisdom Malc so lovingly exhorted.