Saturday, July 10, 2010

Front and Center

That's where she is....all the time, it seems. It's a crazy, crazy life for me. You just keep going on, doing life, laughing, shopping, working. And yet, she's always there. In my thoughts, on my heart, in my memories. (Also in my wallet, so I can see her smile whenever I need). She's so alive in them, yet so absent. I wonder if the void will always feel this huge or will time make it smaller. I don't expect to have my whole heart back until we're reunited, but I wonder how much easier time will make this journey....
I've never connected with a grief group, not sure if that's a mistake or not. I'm not really a group share kind of person.And each person's journey is so unique. Although it might be nice to listen to people who understand this kind of loss, it won't fill the emptiness. 

Like many of life's harder trials, it is lonely, very lonely. But I am coming to understand that's where Christ does some of His greatest work in our lives. He wants to be the one we run to. He wants to meet us in that place, be the source of our comfort. And He knows loneliness like no other. I think of Him on earth as The Christ, so clear in His mission, identity, passion, perfection. Yet, who could He really relate to on earth? To leave His perfect, amazing home with His Father to abide here with us weak, doubting, prideful, impatient sinners? Even being surrounded by His children, whom He loved, He had to have times of longing for His Father and heavenly home. But you notice, it never says He was lonely. The bible does say He went away to lonely places and prayed. He went there and connected with His Father. He felt His Father's love and devotion to Him. He was never alone. He went to the source who sustained Him.  

"Abide in Me, and I in you." John 15:4 
"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love." John 15:9.
This place of abiding is where I feel the lifting of loneliness. Although, it is harder to do than it is to talk about.  Reading over Jesus' words about abiding, seeing His oneness with the Father and then realizing that's the kind of relationship He longs for with, humbling. It's much easier to base my relationship with Him on how much I did or didn't do for Him, how well I served Him that day, studied about Him, etc. But what He most longs for is just my presence, just to sit and abide with Him, in His love. He wants to be front and center. I have to believe the void in my life will become smaller and smaller as I keep on....abiding.

We sang "Abide in Me" at the Lutheran church I grew up's got some serious Old English, but how perfect are these words for all of us.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.