A Helpful Resource
Several in my circles have found this article on “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief” very helpful.
Generally, the Western world is one that does not permit grief well or know what to do with it. We hold grief at arms length. We tell ourselves to buck up and get on with life. Alas, this open-ended uncertainty we are living with compounded by the speed and complexity at which it came at us has been profoundly jarring.
After reading the above linked article, I’d encourage you to spend a little time reflecting on the various stages of grief as outline.d….
….With Some Caveats
God gave us the gift of grief. As such it is not meant to be navigated on our now. The article comes from the angle that we are to manage our grief and to keep trying harder if we get stuck.
The Holy Week we have begun is in direct opposition to this philosophy. Our God is not a God who holds himself aloof from our pain and suffering lobbing love bombs down from a safe distance once in a while to cheer us up.
Jesus deliberately walked directly into our confusion, pain, darkness, uncertainty and suffering. Here is an excellent sermon on this (actually a short homily for this virtual service). If you are not Anglican, please don’t let the pastor’s garb freak you out. The message is profoundly Biblical and comforting.
Some Principles on Gospel-Oriented Grief
First of all, God does not expect us to source compassion and wisdom on our own. He is the source of all we need. The article provides excellent emotional dynamics to be aware of and some helpful steps toward awareness. Begin by asking the Spirit to be present with you. Ask him to bring to your awareness what is going on inside you.
Second, invite Jesus into what has been made aware to you. The opportunity is to have Jesus companion you not only through Holy Week but through this confounding pandemic. The goal is not to fix it. The opportunity is to grow in awareness of the “breadth, length, height and depth of His love (Ephesians 3).” We are all reluctant travelers. I’d be happy to avoid Holy Week let alone a global pandemic. The Spirit will grant us grace to walk with Jesus in these days.
Third, invite others in. All of us need someplace to process our story. All of us do. pastors, mentors, counselors, spiritual directors, older saints, and wise friends are God’s provision for community – even if virtual is as good as it gets for the time. Social Distancing is not meant to be isolating. Ask others if you can talk and process what you have been shown. If you are concerned at the level of anxiety you are experiencing or wondering about depression, then seek a recommended clinician to help assess.
Receive the Time Afforded
That time you would have spent commuting….use that for more time to pray and read the Word.
And rest! All this stress and uncertainty is exhausting.
Limit the amount of time you are on a screen of any type. But you already know this……
I’d love to know how you are being led and provided for by the Lord in these days of multi-layered loss and grief.
May the Spirit grant you the grace to follow Jesus where he leads you in this Holy Week and the prolonged season of uncertainty beyond!