Posts Tagged With: comfort

Ancient Words, Ancient Prayer

pexels-photo-443412.jpeg

“May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:22

 

Ancient words, comforting words

Still bringing life

Over the long passages of time

Joining in the cry of the faithful

Or the desperate

Or both

Please be mindful of me

On this treacherous pilgrimage

On planet earth

My mind

Incapable of knowing

All the sinkholes

And swirling vortexes

Threatening to take me

Down and away

I will leave those to you

And keep my eyes focussed

On this path

One step at a time

You are my good shepherd

After all

 

© 2018 Julie Clark

Advertisements
Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Grief and Cultural Cliches

IMG_6304

There is an ongoing battle occurring as I sit down to write this blog.  It is over the death of a soldier and the response of the current President.  

 

In our present, ever-changing, lightning speed culture we have pushed and squeezed death into a tidy box or urn, as far away from us as possible.  We no longer know how to comfort those who mourn.  As a people who have lifted the value of physical comfort high on our list of our God-given rights, death makes us very uncomfortable. We do not know what to do with it.  Death takes too much of our valuable time.  We no longer go to those who have lost a loved one and sit with them in silence or tears.  We send cards or perhaps flowers.  We rarely go to funerals or memorial services.  When we do, the focus is often on celebrating the lives of the ones who have left us and leaving out the grief.

 

When confronted with grief we often don’t know what to say or do. If we speak we use clichés and platitudes. Instead of entering into the grief with our friend, neighbor or coworker we distance ourselves from the grief with phrases such as, “She died doing what she loved.” or “He knew what he signed up for when he joined the army”.  These unthinking, unfeeling phrases roll off the tongue and put the blame on the person who just died, for their choice.  I don’t need to be uncomfortable, it wasn’t my fault.  These kinds of phrases do not help the grieving person.

 

Living in Central Asia with people who value the observation grief has helped me understand it. They do not leave relatives, neighbors, or friends alone with their grief, they enter into it together.

 

What helps a grieving person is to enter the grief with them and feel the pain they are going through.  Silence is better than saying something that distances us from them.  When someone acknowledges my pain with words like  “I’m so sorry you lost your son”, they enter into my grief with me. When someone let’s me cry or even wail it makes my grief just a little bit more bearable.  Often those grieving need to process with their words what they are feeling or talk about their loved one.  If my goal is to listen and help bear their burden I can truly help instead of shoving their grief away.  

 

Maybe one thing this president is doing is highlighting the unhealthy, even dangerous places in our society. We need to pay attention! Let’s take another look at our responses to death and grief, sexual abuse and harassment, racial injustices, greed, idolatry and poverty, to name a few.

 

 

Categories: grief and death, growth, Life, pain, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning to Listening

FullSizeRender (2)

How well am I listening to the voice of my Shepherd?

Have I been searching his Word for his words to me?

Have I been watching his every move to move with him when he moves?

Am I slowing down when he does,

to stop and play with a child or

listen to another who needs my ears and comfort?

Have I stretched out my hand in healing as he does?

Am I studying his ways to match my ways with his?

Forgiving as he forgave me?

Forsaking condemnation and judgement,

while learning the art of love and compassion?

How well do I know his voice?

Enough that I do not follow the thousand voices

leading me down other paths far away from his?

How well am I listening to the voice of my Beloved?

Categories: Faith, God, Lent, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on What’s Next

Heading out

some day

We all are

One way in

and another way out

 

Could be serious

or not

my friend tells me

of her illness

Too close again

for comfort

My heart is achy

 

Is it a mere door or

will we go through a tunnel

to another world

or a dimension

just beyond ours

where all is well and whole

one day to be

together

as heaven reunites

with earth?

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: borderlands, Faith, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ash Wednesday

The big problem

of pain or illness

is it is constantly

screaming for attention.

It drives me away

from anything else but myself,

pulling me steadily inward.

This is no way to live

or die for that matter.

I want to learn

new strategies

of living and caring

in the midst of it.

 

I have a role model

to study and learn from.

I think of Jesus.

His last days of life

His suffering and agony.

He didn’t go inward

and far away.

He stayed with us.

He instructed his friends

to put away their swords.

He looked at Peter

at the rooster’s third crow.

He had a few words

for Pilate.

A few more for the woman

on the path to the cross.

He took care of his mother.

He forgave his tormentors.

He brought comfort to another dying man.

He looked up.

He gave himself to God.

 

© 2014 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Lent, Life, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: