Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gratitude Eventually

Here we are again, God. Crying out for help. 
Loving, loyal, affirming, and compassionate God:
Sometimes the heartbreak is overwhelming. It feels devastating. It feels like we are incapacitated—stuck in a quagmire of sadness, loneliness, fears, and despair. Stuck and sinking deeper. It has been too long in the darkness and we long to move beyond these dark and sad days of yearning and weeping and groaning within. 
Sometimes the heartbreak is related to the sad events in the world—bombings in Beirut, terror in Paris, the horror of violence perpetuated by “others” and, at the end of the day, a realization that “others” are not the only ones who make war instead of peace. There are so many things over which we have no control but yet we want to do something, anything. Sometimes the heartbreak is personal, close to home, deep within our own hearts. Sometimes the heartache is a grieving of significant and very real losses. Sometimes we choose self-pity, choose to shun reality, and choose to foster fantastic and unrealistic dreams of ways we might make everything perfect…
Perfectionism is a harsh, cruel master. In the end we blame ourselves or blame others or discover that we’re living with a deep sense of shame because “we’re not up to the task of fixing the world”—not even our own little corner of it. 
So, there you go. How do we pray for a healing of this pain in our guts if we really don’t want to be healed? How do we let go? How do find our authentic selves—a task that belongs to ourselves alone—while at the same time comprehending and accepting that we cannot walk the journey alone?
Even in the midst of pain, there is gratitude. And gratitude helps us from losing our bearings in the heartache. Gratitude moves us towards faith; and faith calls us to compassion; and compassion calls us to listen to the stories of others and to be open and accepting and patient and kind. 
It all begins with gratitude. 
Personally, I am deeply grateful… For rest and renewal; for a warm home and a comfortable bed; for breakfast and coffee and my 16-year-old who enjoys sharing both with me; for colleagues in ministry and conversations and shared insights and wisdom and discernment; for delicious food and great conversations and generous hearts, for a delightful dinner with friends—old and new; for good health and the Spirit’s healing power and the joy of feeling my muscles being stretched; for spiritual guides and mentors; for music, for art, for rain and the smell of the earth and the leaves and the moisture, for seasons, for laughter, for my children and family, for the grace to care for others and the grace to be open to others who care about me, and for the gifts of faith, hope, and love. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Amen.

No comments: