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Tag Archives: Grief

The Boston Marathon Tragedy

Yesterday’s attack at the Boston Marathon was tragic.  What can we say to others? to ourselves? Where was God? I offer you two fragments that help me in times like this. 1. Be comfortable in being silent. Job’s three friends “wept aloud, tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was (Job 2:11-13). It is when they started talking that they got in trouble! Notice their presence “with him,’ i.e. Job, in his suffering. 2. The ultimate knowledge of God is to know that we do not know. Thomas Aquinas was a brilliant theologian who had written 20 very large volumes about who God is and how He works. On December 6, 1273 something happened to him that brought his teaching and writing to an end.. Read more.

Learning to Lament – Newtown, CT

The painful images of the funerals of the children from Sandy Hook elementary school is an invitation from God for us to learn to lament. David not only sang this lamentation; he ordered the people to learn it, memorize it and inhabit it as their experience. After the terrible, tragic deaths of Saul and Jonathan, we read: David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow: “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights.  How the mighty have fallen!…Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon….O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul …How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. 2 Samuel 1:17-20; 24-25 Eugene Peterson says it well: “Pain isn’t the worst thing… Death isn’t the worst thing. The worst thing is failing to deal with. Read more.

Silence and the Unspeakable Horror in Newtown, CT

“Unspeakable horror” is the best phrase to capture the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. 26 people killed, 20 of whom were only 6-7 years old. There are no words to say. We pray for the victims, their families, the shooter’s family, and all those affected. We grieve with them. We join the three friends of Job as they arrive after innocent Job suffers his unspeakable horrors and longs to die. Scripture tells us that his friends “began to weep aloud…Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:12-13). God invites us to be silent before this massacre, acknowledging the severe limits of our understanding. Our God is good. He is alive on the earth hidden amidst all of history’s unspeakable horrors. Let us remember the three friends got themselves. Read more.

"Getting Saved"

Geri shared the following out of a Conversations Journal article by Henry Cloud entitled “Getting Saved” at a recent NLF Marriage Leadership Meeting.  Her goal was to help us refocus on the central themes of our spiritual formation for the ministry in 2012-2013.  God wants to heal (i.e. save) us and the people we lead so that we can do the following: 1. Connect Deeply with God and Others. Emotional connection is central to life. The Trinity lives in unbroken communion and union. God exists, three in one, in an ongoing, unbroken relationship; He created us for the same. How are your emotional connections with God and your family? 2. Establish Boundaries. God is free from the ones He loves. He stands up to the ones He is in relationship with, and set limits when He is violated. He is free from being controlled by those He loves.  For relational or psychological problems to. Read more.

"Between Dreams" – Gifts from a Wise Mentor

I spent the day yesterday with Leighton Ford, a mentor of mine for the past 30 years.  Leighton again shared out of his life as he approaches his 81st birthday and looks forward to another five years of encouraging mentoring communities around the world. The following are a few golden nuggets from our time: 1. The time “between dreams” is perhaps the most important in the spiritual journey. Alan Jones, in Exploring Spiritual Direction, writes: “If we are willing to wait in the darkness “between dreams,” a larger and wider reality appears and life’s dream takes on richer images and more liberating structures. It’s often at a place such as “between dreams” that a guide, a friend, or spiritual director can wait with us in a dark place until a new way of looking at things emerges for us. Many a marriage, for example, turns sour and dies precisely at the point of its. Read more.