How Can We Avoid Putting a Bandaid on Others’ Grief and Pain?

Putting a Bandaid on Others' Grief and Pain

When Jesus singled out Peter, James, and John to sit with him in the Garden of Gethsemane, his instructions to them were brief and straightforward: "Remain here and watch." He asked them to stay in a particular place and be on guard, to be awake and be with him. Mark 14:35-36 describes Jesus's pleading prayer… Continue reading How Can We Avoid Putting a Bandaid on Others’ Grief and Pain?

God Will Always Get It Right

Believers are uniquely aided in the fight against bitterness.

Sunday Scripture It's a short journey from regret to blame, from sorrow to anger, from sadness to bitterness. Defying the pull toward bitterness seems to be one of the tasks of mid-life and beyond, but the movement toward peace and contentment, while challenging, is also life-saving. The prophet Isaiah was gifted with staggering insight to… Continue reading God Will Always Get It Right

A Melody Above the Noise of Your Grief

God sings a song of renewal and restoration within your pain.

Written by real people with genuine feelings--often worn closer to the surface than this stoic New Englander might like--the Bible gives voice to a full range of emotions. There is plenty of joy, lots of celebration, and this has found its way into our worship. However, we are less comfortable with the practice of biblical… Continue reading A Melody Above the Noise of Your Grief

Celebrating Christmas in a Season of Loss

The Most Difficult Time of the Year--Celebrating Christmas in a Season of Loss

In a year that has seen at least 23 school shootings, parental grief lies very near the surface of our society. At the same distressing time, a stunning 1 in 4 women has had an abortion by age 45, creating a quieter, but even greater undercurrent of grief — one mostly unshared and unacknowledged. Then there are… Continue reading Celebrating Christmas in a Season of Loss

Half Way to Entirely

Poetry of Jennifer Wallace in Almost Entirely. Middle Age, Midlife, Grief, Mourning

C.S. Lewis described the human condition as a process of always becoming more of what we already are. These are cautionary words for me at this point in middle age, particularly as I consider the possibilities. In Lewis's The Great Divorce, the Teacher speaks regretfully of a seemingly harmless woman who has come to the end of… Continue reading Half Way to Entirely

Where Tragedy Intersects with Truth

Where Tragedy Intersects with Truth, Where I End by Katherine Clark

Some stories leave a reader short of breath, muscles stiffened, dreading to turn the page because of the unavoidable outcome of the narrative arc. Katherine Clark's story began on a routine Friday, volunteering at her son's school. However, when she rounded the playground equipment in a schoolyard game of tag, one of the children bounded… Continue reading Where Tragedy Intersects with Truth

Toward a Sensitive Observance of Holy Innocents Day 2017

Holy Innocents Day

A few verses in Matthew are all that are granted to the tragedy of slain baby boys following the birth of Jesus. Christian Churches in the west have memorialized Herod’s paranoid panic as Holy Innocents’ Day, celebrated historically on December 28th, the fourth day of Christmas. In Medieval England, children were awakened to the solemnity… Continue reading Toward a Sensitive Observance of Holy Innocents Day 2017

Stepping onto the Common Ground — Jayber Crow Discussion Group (5)

I've spent the past week reconnecting with my sister. She lives in Alaska. I live in Maine. She has one grown daughter, while I've spent the past 23 years living in a boys' dormitory. She has lovely nails and her wardrobe demonstrates an awareness of the comings and goings of  style. My hands and my… Continue reading Stepping onto the Common Ground — Jayber Crow Discussion Group (5)

If You REALLY Want to Help those Who Grieve

We sat on the couch, side by side, but miles apart.  She had just lost her son in a tragic accident.  I had four living and healthy boys -- and no words that could touch her loss.  In the weeks and months that followed, I wrote notes, shared Scripture verses, listened to her sadness, and… Continue reading If You REALLY Want to Help those Who Grieve

Weeping Woman of Ramah

(Matthew 2:16-18; Jeremiah 31:15; Isaiah 61:1-3) There was no angel appearance to my husband -- No timely warning granted for us to flee the danger and death of Herod's sword. Know that I, too, would have fled. I would have flown to the ends of the earth to dodge the flash of steel that ended my… Continue reading Weeping Woman of Ramah