Sitting with a World in Grief

When all of this began last month, I had about a week where I found it really hard to get my emotional equilibrium. I just didn’t know how to FEEL about what was happening. Maybe you can relate.

One morning in prayer, I came to this: It’s like sitting with someone in grief. Or with someone who is sick.

Like our whole world is in grief at the moment, or the whole world is sick, and all we can really do is sit beside the world and wait.

This really helped me, because I know how to sit with someone in grief. You’re quiet, or you talk, as they need. You cry sometimes and you laugh sometimes. You don’t rush things. You can’t.

When you sit with someone in grief, you do it with compassion and empathy. You share the pain but you stay hopeful too. You know this too shall pass. In its time.

Or to use the analogy of sickness — even though some tragically won’t come through sickness in this time, the world as a whole will recover.

Things on the other side will be different. That’s always true for someone who goes through deep grief or who suffers a life-changing illness. And we can’t know, right now, what the other side will look like. We’re not there.

But we can sit, pray, cry, laugh, wait, and we can do it as a friend.

Today, Holy Saturday, when we remember that Jesus once lay silent in a grave, seems like an especially good time to do that.

Oh, and because I won’t be sending an email tomorrow (I don’t on Sundays), I’ll say it now —

Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.


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