Words of Hope: Awakened

I met with a beautiful friend about grief.

She asked me about my journey with Dad’s death and how it has affected me. “Like a major car wreck, like a life altering experience,” I explained. It’s difficult to describe the profundity of Dad’s loss. 

I would say that deep grief is startling. I am surprised by the pain, by the heaviness, by the expectations, and by the confusion. I can feel both grateful and bitter, sad and joyful, hopeful and depressed. 

I also said that it has shaken up my Christianity, in a very good but difficult way. It’s like the Matrix movie when people taste the truth of the food, the gruel and the difficulty of life for the first time. They realize the fabrication they have been believing. 

My fabrication is that life won’t hurt. That as a believer all will go well. Instead, I have had to lay aside any kind of platitude, any kind of “success” gospel. Real love costs all we are. It’s an awareness that silver lining, Disneyland Christianity is a facade. So how do I want to live?

It has been a life changing experience especially as I navigate other parents losing their children. As I watch more countries enter war, the images and experiences are raw and surreal. 

Jesus promises trouble in this world. He doesn’t say “if” you go through the water and “if” you go through the fire. He says “when.”

Hermann Hesse said, “Children live on one side of despair, the awakened on the other side.”

Dad dying showed me that life hurts deeply, trouble happens, and this new outlook requires the discipline to be alert. I was sleeping before and now I am awake. 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33