Loss, Lament, and The Road To The Cross
We said goodbye to our 17 yr old furry child, Sophie this week. Just a few weeks ago, we lost a family friend. Any look on social media reveals a multitude of losses—the loss of parents, children, spouses, neighbors, colleagues, friends. Too much.
Loss of any kind can stop us in our tracks and paralyze us. Mourning becomes a heavy lead-blanket pulling hard on our shoulders. We go on. We take steps. But these steps at times feel pointless, purposeless. Distracted.
Sometimes I find myself wondering, Why all these losses? Why so much heart-crushing and suffering? What, if anything, can this great pain teach us?
Whether we lose small things or big things, loss is never easy. Sometimes we want to run and hide. Sometimes we want to drown in the big wide waves of emptiness that sweep over us and hold us in their grasp.
I am learning to find meaning in recognizing that seasons of loss are needful seasons on our healing path. Loss as much as anything in life teaches and trains us to remember our helplessness, our brokenness, and to keep our hearts focused on the One who heals.
The Lenten season is a season of loss, of lament that walks us through the last days of Jesus’ journey to the cross and brings us face to face with our own. In meditating on Christ’s suffering, we confront the reality of our own humanity, our own disillusioned imagination, our inescapable wound that separates us from God.
Reverend Alexander Schmemann in his book, Great Lent, teaches,
The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to ‘soften’ our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden ‘thirst and hunger’ for communion with God.
Mourning gives way to repentance, as we turn away from sin, as we lament this heinous death and brokenness that exists within us, and allow ourselves to grasp hold of the greatest love of all —that God sent His Son to the cross so that through His suffering, His death, His resurrection, we could experience life. Love.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4–5)
Without repentance we can never experience relationship with God.
Without lament, we can never experience being loved by God.
Love is forever a response to love. The Bible says, "We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19 NIV)
So let those who have lost lament for today—for His great love gave us the gift of loving. Yet let us lament not as those who have no hope – let us lament as those who know Who holds the future, as those who believe that Jesus died and rose again. Who believe He is coming again.
Don’t allow seasons of loss to close your heart to loving. Open your heart wide and dive in. Don’t run from the losses. Don’t push back against the pain. Surrender to the waves of sorrow as you allow the depths of suffering to heal you, shape you, draw you closer to the cross.
About This Community
Don't we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that - a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my new book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I've discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with herself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155392891