Archive | January 2017

No hope?

img_6371-hopeI’ve been listening (perhaps I shouldn’t) to spokepersons on television news stations repeat words spoken by some in authority that our nation is now “without hope.” Are these wise words? Naturally I disagree with them. After all, my post address is “Hope Is Possible.” As most of you know, I am not referring to national hope, but hope after suicide; hope for those surviving suicide, which includes hope for all who grieve. Therefore it’s no stretch to be inclusive and say that there is hope for the whole world, right?

You may agree with political mindsets who feel we are “without hope” in our nation going forward from the swearing in ceremony on January 20. The statement gave me pause nevertheless, but this is not intended to be a political piece. I won’t air my opinions, however the words got me thinking.

“We are without hope.” How does a statement like this make you feel in your grief? It doesn’t have a question mark, but a period. Is it truth? Does it apply? To be “without hope” is to be hopeless, right? Personally I am not hopeless, but my firstborn likely felt he was, causing him to end his pain by taking his life. Suicide is the prevalent next step to hopelessness. I dare say that if we, as a nation, think negatively and feel hopeless, what is the logical next step, or is there one?

Readers who have been following my blog know that I write to help other grievers feel hopeful. Yes, life is hard after loss. There is no argument there. I have it hard, you have it hard, but I do not live without hope. You don’t either, do you? We may be shattered, bone dry, sickened with grief, and feel broken beyond repair, but we are not without hope. Keep reading the devotional below for someone else’s take on this topic.

~ Hope springs eternal in the human breast ~

“The English poet Alexander Pope wrote, ‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest.’

“The director of a medical clinic told of a terminally ill young man who came in for his usual treatment. A new doctor who was on duty said to him casually and cruelly, ‘You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?’

“As the young man left, he stopped by the director’s desk and wept. ‘That man took away my hope,’ he blurted out.

“‘I guess he did,’ replied the director. ‘Maybe it’s time to find a new one.’

“Commenting on this incident, Lewis Smedes wrote, ‘Is there a hope when hope is taken away? Is there hope when the situation is hopeless? That question leads us to Christian hope, for in the Bible, hope is no longer a passion for the possible. It becomes a passion for the promise.’”

No one, not even a professional, can know whether or not that young man will live out the year. That information is known only to the God of heaven. It is also true that no one can tell you that you live without hope. You can choose to believe that you have no hope or that you will never feel joy again in your grief journey, but is it truth?

I will not answer this question for you, but I will answer it for me. If I did not have hope ~ hope in the next life, hope that I will see my child again ~ I would be someone most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:19). Further, I dare say, that I, (and speaking for no one else), do not see how I could survive my son’s suicide without hope . . . hope in the Eternal.

There are hundreds of verses of Scripture with the word “hope” in them. Not all of them are positive, but discerning reading gives me confidence in the hope to come. You may choose to believe otherwise, but I believe that the hope, referred to in Scripture, is the good stuff which is ahead for those who put their trust in God; therefore I choose to rise every day in the hope of being reunited with my firstborn son once more!

Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope? Job 4:6

Quote from Our Daily Bread, December 19, 1996, (Bible “dot” org)

Verse from Job, New King James Version (NKJV)

 

This entry was posted on January 20, 2017. 4 Comments

Drab days of winter

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“Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

The weather report says “overcast” as a cloud cover obscures the sky. We are experiencing a stint of drab gray. Winter, in our neck of the woods, is hitting its stride. Don’t laugh, but I feel frustrated enough to write about it (noting that days without sunshine can be difficult for those who are susceptible to depression), and I am more ready than ever for Mr. Sun to poke his smiling face through the gray clouds and bring a pop of color into my dreary view.

As gray of day turned into black of night one evening, I approached the wall of windows to lower the blinds. I stopped in my tracks and stared at the horizon. There bore the evidence that sunshine will return again as I stood, transfixed, and gazed at a strip of crimson. It looked as if shimmering liquid coral had pooled on the lackluster landscape. Just a touch. Just for a moment. Then the beauty sank out of sight, but it was enough to remind me that it won’t always be dark. Light will return. Glory will once again light up my world.

Like me, you may be on a grief journey. You may feel the seemingly endless drudgery of weary steps, and dark days don’t help. We go through the motions, day after day, living for that moment; the moment we are reunited with the ones we were forced to bury while they were still young and full of life.

I picture this expanse of grief like a conveyor belt. It keeps moving whether I move or not. With my carry-on in hand I am borne, not toward a distant destination promising great joy, but along a curvy, bumpy road that often feels like it is heading nowhere.

And yet . . . this journey of grief is taking me somewhere. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year, I am inching closer to a grand reunion more spectacular than humans can imagine.

Meanwhile, we face holiday after holiday occupied with thoughts of those who can no longer join us around the kitchen table. We miss their hugs, their smiles, their jokes, their stories we have heard so often that finishing them is automatic. They may be gone, but their memories are not.

Just as the sun will return to shine upon our upturned faces, I am reminded that my “Son-shine” will return, too. His glory will be spectacular. We will see our children face to face at last, and they will be radiant. The drab gray of pain will disappear. The darkness of our shattered hearts will be replaced with hearts that will beat in unison throughout eternity. hallelujah!

The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. Malachi 4:2a

Version selected, GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)