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Tag Archives: loss

Suicide and a Spirituality a Grief

A pastor friend of mine shared over dinner that, a number of years ago, his son had committed suicide. He talked openly his loss and the way it had changed him. He recommended Grieving a Suicide, by Albert Y. Hsu where Hsu talks about his father’s suicide and that of many others – Christian and non-Christians. While I have written about a theology of grief and loss, God used this book to enlarge my own heart and challenge me to enter into this very different world. Approximately a million people around the world kill themselves each year. Every suicide leaves behind at least six survivors, sometimes ten or more. Their level of stress is ranked by the APA as “catastrophic — equivalent to that of a concentration camp experience.” A spirituality of suffering, grief, and loss is untidy – bottomless. I found, however, this quote by Walter Wangerin a helpful summary of Hsu’s reflections::. Read more.

I Will Quit Blaming

I acknowledge blaming is a comfortable reaction for me but I realize that I am actually giving away my personal power of choices when I blame. I will take responsibility for my life because no one else is responsible for my life and happiness but me. One of the most mature things a person can do is cross the line from being a blamer to taking responsibility for their lives.

I Will Quit Blaming

I acknowledge blaming is a comfortable reaction for me but I realize that I am actually giving away my personal power of choices when I blame. I will take responsibility for my life because no one else is responsible for my life and happiness but me. One of the most mature things a person can do is cross the line from being a blamer to taking responsibility for their lives.

God's Splendor as Sorrow – Final Reflection, Newtown, CT

Watching the funerals of the teachers and children this past week has been heart-wrenching for the nation. “Where is/was God?” we ask.  I close our week with words that serve me in these days. This excerpt is quoted from the Daily Office: Begin the Journey (WCA). Nicholas Wolterstorff, former theological professor at Yale, lost his twenty-five year old son to a mountain-climbing accident. He didn’t have any answers as to why God allowed such a tragedy. Who does? At one point, however, he came upon a great insight: “Through the prism of my tears I have seen a suffering God. It is said of God that on one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one can see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps this meant that no one can see his sorrow and live. Or perhaps his sorrow is his splendor.”

Sorrow that Transforms – Newtown, CT

We join the families of those twenty children as we watch their funerals – two yesterday and, probably, more today. Jeremiah wrote a book called Lamentations in the midst of his unspeakable horror. David wrote two-thirds of the Psalms out of his pain. Consider the words of Gerald Sittser. May they serve you as they have served me. In A Grace Disguised, after the horrific loss of his daughter, wife, and mother in a car accident, he wrote: “Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery. It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same. There is no going back to the past…It is not therefore true that we become less through loss – unless we allow the loss to make us less, grinding our soul down until there is nothing left…Loss can also make us more. I did not get over the loss of my loved ones; rather, I. 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.