Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Skimming over the grief to a place of peace

Since the news last week of the shooting in CT, I've been skimming over the grief. A good friend of mine stated, that it wasn't possible for her to look at the photo of the 20 children and 6 adults that lost their lives. I can't either, as least I can't if I stay in this space of skimming.  

The extent of this loss and violence makes me feel as if I might drown in it.
I don't want to really see it.
I'm fearful that it will pierce my heart in an inconsolable way.
And then I'm only looking at this loss from arms length. 
I did not know any of these people personally, however this kind of loss cuts all of us to the quick.
Children and adults that were full of life, hope and promise; were taken away.
This kind of tragedy just shouldn't happen. 

My dear friend Becky send me this Psalm this week to be a help to me. She gave it to me as a reminder of how God in the way that only God can - work in the midst of tragedy, call others to help the hurting and ultimately hold on to hope. 

Earlier today, I was able to (with the help of my church's knitting ministry) give 4 prayer shawls to a friend who works in the area of Disaster Services. Her agency is collecting prayer shawls to be given to the families and first responders who assisted those impacted by the tragedy in Newton, CT. first hand.

Bit by bit, I begin to see how small steps like reading the following text from Isaiah 35 and getting prayer shawls to the people who need them are ways of working past skimming over grief into walking through it  - to a place of help and hope.

May these words give you hope for whatever wild times you are living in and my the God of perfect peace give you strength.

Grace and Peace,

Isaiah 35

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,

And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;

It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
The excellency of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands,
And make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.
The parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water;
In the habitation of jackals, where each lay,
There shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray.
No lion shall be there,
Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it;
It shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk there,
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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