i wrote this originally to a friend in the midst of a grief, but now, i realise, it is for all my friends, my family, for people i don't even know, who are grappling with living this side of heaven. the world is full of weight isn't it?
it's mainly a jumble of thoughts. but it's all i could manage.
Your email came and I resisted opening it. I knew what it was going to say, my soul sank. Even before reading your words, my heart took on a heaviness in mere moments that can only be the Spirit asking me to bear with you, to carry this burden to the Lord. I was wondering how it gets to be such a gloriously beautiful day and for this news to shatter it. I've been ruminating on what it means to bring a sacrifice of praise, I’m sure you could teach me a thing or two, you always could. And so with this heaviness I am praising him, from whom, we know, flows everything. Him, who works all things for good. Him who lead this stumbling girl to your family almost a decade ago and said, love her, and you did. I love you as one of my spiritual mothers, I love you as a sister in Christ, I love you as one who does not say it nearly ever enough.
You are stronger than you know. I am honoured to be on your prayer list. I think of your family, of you, so much, so much. I am waiting and working to become a woman of the Lord and the Word as you are. I am astounded by the grace with which you live.
I am unable to give words to this thing.
I suppose I should call you one of my first mentors (I hate that word). The hours you spent loving me toward Jesus. The hours you heard my heart when it was covered by so many words. The times you honoured the woman-girl as she worked out this thing called following Jesus. What a task. Thank you.
May I tell you that my single best hug of all time came from you? I can remember the weight of your hand on the back of my head as you brought me close. I can remember the children dancing around our legs. I can remember thinking this is the best hug of my life. It was full of gratitude and mercy and Christ and grace. It was on an ordinary Sunday morning in the Church hall, with the smell of Freshee and Elmer’s glue still lingering in the air.
I know this comes as a blow again. I know there are no words for this pain, this confusion, this hurt. I know there is darkness the creeps in around the edges at times like these. I was loved toward Jesus enough to know that all of this is ok. I know that you know this too, but I’ve learned we sometimes need to be held in prayers by those who can believe for us, if only for a moment while we gather ourselves and with our fingernails cling to faith.
I know that in moments like this there are knots in your stomach (mine too…) and it feels like you’ve come to the end of yourself. I could say something like but it’s ok, because at the end of yourself is where Jesus will carry you, and he will, he has, he is. But it’s not comforting now to say that. It sounds hollow in my head, my heart beats faster and a lump raises in my throat. Tears well. It is impossible to not sound trite at a moment like this.
But know that we have this incredible ability, my sister, to bear with each other. To carry grief for one another. And I am pleading with God for some of yours. He’ll give it, he’s faithful.
I will bear your burdens and pray for grace. I will expect miracles, I will give a sacrifice of praise. I can only hope it will ease this somehow. I can only pray for that.