Tag Archives: Suffering

Then how shall we live…pt 1

3 Jul

Shameless promotion in the San Diego Reader 2010. Yes, those are dreadlocks.

Last week I lost my part time restaurant job.  Discharged. Ouch.

Surprise, shock, pain, and betrayal welled up inside me (to name a few emotions.) I couldn’t believe it. Thoughts of: “I have never been fired before. I did nothing wrong! Why is this happening? I’m disposable.” all swirled like a tornado in my head.

This experience has led me down a path of meditating on loss.  Loss is actually all around us. The more we age it can seem that life is increasingly about losing. When we get our first job, we lose the freedom of our youth. If you marry, you lose the joy of many options. When you grow old you lose your devilish good looks, your body begins to shut down, your friends pass away, and your fame disappears.  I am not trying to be pessimistic here, but that begs the question, “If loss is all arounds us, if we can’t avoid it, what do we do with it?” Is there really a way for that which is lost to be found?

The question moves from not whether we have experienced loss, but rather how we live our losses? Do we hide them? Blame others? Refuse to share them?

My spiritual hero and literary mentor Henri Nouwen says,

 True healing begins at the moment that we can face the reality of our losses and let go of the illusions of control. 

 Often I have found the vehicle of “facing” begins with mourning.

I can never get to the joy if I dare not cry.

 I can never feel the warmth of gladness if I lack the courage to weep.

I can never discover healing if I don’t seize the opportunity to experience the pain.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, there’s a “time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”  I’m learning that these times are actually connected.

Mourning and dancing are all one beautiful choreography movement of grace. Somehow, through the dark night, light surfaces.  Through the tears, a gift is given, and in the midst of sorrow, a smile breaks through. It’s in this place that character is revealed. Faith is tested. It’s a place where our spirit has the opportunity to say “thank you.”

There are defining moments, even destiny moments in our lives as followers of Jesus. We have a choice- to participate with God in His shaping of us… or miss it. Even refuse it. How will we respond? How will we live our losses? I dont know about you but I’m gonna dance my socks off….

This is part 1 of a 2 piece article. The 2nd half will explore connecting our losses to the greater story of God.  


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