Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grief In Motion

This past Sunday was Senior Adult Sunday at our church. I always look forward to this day on the calendar. It’s when our Senior Adults, many in their 70’s and 80’s fill the choir, make the announcements, play piano pieces, and pray. For people like me with no parents or grandparents living, this day makes church feel more like family. The senior adults also choose the songs that the congregation will sing. One of their selections this year was “Bringing In The Sheaves”. This song has made the rounds in popular culture. Barney hummed its tune to put Otis to sleep in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. It’s made appearances on Little House on the Prairie, The Simpsons, and was even sung by a group of werewolves on Supernatural.

The song was inspired by a poem in the Bible that reads: “He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:6). This poem reminds us that times can be hard. Sometimes the difficulties are our own making, sometimes not. Regardless of how we get there, God will never leave us alone in our suffering. We are taught to keep moving, to keep doing the things we can. In this poem that’s illustrated by planting crops in the midst of a drought. With God, a drought today can give way to bundles or sheaves of crops tomorrow.

Life has moments of pain and loss that can reduce us to tears, moments when the rhythm of our heaving chests are our only comfort. In those moments of fear and grieving the idea of “bearing seed for sowing” seems impossible. Some days, getting out of bed seems like an insurmountable task. But we must. The truth of this poem is that we cannot allow our weeping to freeze us in place. Even in our grief, we must keep our feet moving. We have to face the day. We have to get dressed, and go out our front door. We have to speak with our neighbors and find a way tackle the tasks required of us.  Grief was never meant to be permanent. It’s temporary and it’s healing. Moving forward, attacking the day in front of us won’t erase our grief. It will, however, make space for grief to do its healing work. 

For anyone in grief today, don’t stop living. Keep moving as best you can. God cares about each tear and has a future for you filled with hope and peace.

Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo

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