Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
I have been walking, crawling, barely breathing through the valley of the shadow of death. There are no words for the pain. In the darkest, ugliest of times one learns if unconditional love truly exists. I can tell you that it does exists but is, unfortunately, very rare.
No wonder so many people of this day and age want nothing to do with church or people who espouse to believe in a God of unconditional love and forgiveness. So I get it, I understand. For the first time in my 42 years of walking in the way of Jesus, I have seen how us “churchy” people are seen by the majority of the world. So I would challenge all of us, myself included, to take a personal journey of honesty and examine unconditional love. The urban dictionary defines unconditional love as: “To love somebody with no conditions or circumstances: to love completely.” NO CONDITIONS; does not matter what someone has said or done…..are we able to love that person?….Do we love that person?….Do we support and nurture that person?…Do we acknowledge that we have no idea what it is to walk in that person’s shoes?….Do we accept that we do not have all of the answers? Unconditional love means that it is not about us but is about the one that we love.
In Gratitude for Life,
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
It has been yet another season in the life of this blogger. Recently the seasons have been harsh; battering my emotions with gail force trials. My Pastor, co-worker in ministry, boss and friend has gone home to be with the Lord after living on this earth for 62 years. He fought esophageal cancer with every ounce that he had. He gave the disease and his life to the Lord and the Lord called him home Sunday evening, September 27th.
I have lost loved ones before. I have grieved before, but the pain I experienced through this death was more painful for me than any other. Why? I don’t know if I will ever be able to answer that question. This death ripped something apart in me that opened flood gates I did not know existed. Maybe when you have labored in ministry with someone it creates a unique bond. Again, I don’t know…..just guessing at this point. But the pain was real and unique for me. It would hit me in waves, totally unexpected. I would wail and rock and sob. I would be fine one moment and the next have uncontrollable tears running down my cheeks. I would think I was okay to handle daily duties and then BAM…dagger to the heart. Crazy.
And then in the blink of an eye, the pain was gone, over, finished.
Allow me to change the wording in the above scripture just a little bit; “But joy comes in the mourning.” Grief is a process of healing. Grief is the last act of love. Grief is a gift. Grief teaches us what to do with the love that is left behind on earth when the loved one is home with the Lord. If we give grief the reign it needs, it will walk us through the pain and into the “morning.”
Through Christ Who Strengthens Us,