Caring is an Exhausting Task

Withdrawing from the crowd as Jesus did is especially challenging. As Katey’s care needs increased, we increasingly withdrew from the crowd. Caring is an exhausting task, as is managing an ongoing illness. From our perspective, we saw it more like the crowd withdrawing from us. Visits slowed to a trickle and then stopped.

The prayer team’s initial earnestness ran out of steam and evaporated. We felt abandoned. Yet, hardly surprising, as I for one was not nice to know as I wrestled with my own unremitting pain that found voice through anger and sarcasm.

In retrospect we were being kindly handled by God. For who within the crowd was able to offer more than empathy and companionship? These were important emotional supports we required along the way, and were most often gifted to us by those themselves experiencing or recovering from acute pain of their own. I often see pubs offering opportunities to join their ‘pudding club’. I wonder if churches might do well to establish ‘pain recovery clubs’!

What God eventually was able to communicate above the noise of my own restless anger and reaction was his desire to have time with me entirely alone. If I felt ill-equipped and ill at ease with the space created, he did not. Slowly I had to discover, away from the crowd, distinct from the familiarity of all that I knew and loved, the reality of the presence of God and his deep love for me. I was in a place of desolation, very lonely and solitary in that no one was alongside me in quite the way that I felt within that I needed.

All my understanding of God from teaching and preaching began to slide south, from my head towards my heart. It was a frightening place because I felt intensely the solitary nature and emotional desolation. God was not available at the press of a button or the mouthing of a mantra. I was to withdraw and to wait. In my waiting I needed to discover how to yearn for God rather than criticise his apparent absence.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Choices

Today I met my Teacher,
He said “Be still my dear,
Your thoughts are causing aching,
Your suffering brings me here.”

I stopped and faced my Teacher,
So I could hear the words he said,
How did he know my turmoil?
Thoughts running through my head.

I saw the pain across his face,
The sadness in his eyes,
It hurt to think my turmoil,
Was affecting one so wise.

I placed my hand upon my heart,
For there lay all my pain,
Was then he made me realise,
Suffering was my choice again.

Why did I do this to myself?
And choose to hurt inside,
Hadn’t I suffered long enough?
Why did I choose to hide?

I knew inside I had the strength,
To rise above all pain,
I knew the choice to suffer now,
Had been mine once again.

I knew the choice of happiness,
Lay there within my soul,
I’d only got to choose it,
And once again feel whole.

The Teacher smiled so broadly,
As he wiped away my tears,
For he knew I’d found the answers,
Hidden behind my fears.

He placed his hands upon my head,
And with Love began to heal,
All my scars from suffering,
The pain I’d chose to feel.

Joanne Finwall

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Choices

Today I met my Teacher,
He said “Be still my dear,
Your thoughts are causing aching,
Your suffering brings me here.”

I stopped and faced my Teacher,
So I could hear the words he said,
How did he know my turmoil?
Thoughts running through my head.

I saw the pain across his face,
The sadness in his eyes,
It hurt to think my turmoil,
Was affecting one so wise.

I placed my hand upon my heart,
For there lay all my pain,
Was then he made me realise,
Suffering was my choice again.

Why did I do this to myself?
And choose to hurt inside,
Hadn’t I suffered long enough?
Why did I choose to hide?

I knew inside I had the strength,
To rise above all pain,
I knew the choice to suffer now,
Had been mine once again.

I knew the choice of happiness,
Lay there within my soul,
I’d only got to choose it,
And once again feel whole.

The Teacher smiled so broadly,
As he wiped away my tears,
For he knew I’d found the answers,
Hidden behind my fears.

He placed his hands upon my head,
And with Love began to heal,
All my scars from suffering,
The pain I’d chose to feel.

Joanne Finwall

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful Blessings

Geoffrey

Nevertheless

To live today, despite our loss, we have to begin to replace the regretful words “if only” with the grateful words “nevertheless”.

Nowhere in the Bible does it speak in the language of “if only”; however frequently the Bible uses the language of “nevertheless”.

We cannot change the painful past or bring back our loved one; nevertheless we can live with gratitude for the love we had and for the life we shared – even though that love and life ended too soon.

How will we live with the grief that has rocked our world? Will we get stuck in yesterday with the words “if only” or will we move ahead toward tomorrow with the word “nevertheless?”

We do grieve our loss; nevertheless life must go on.

Will our loss lead us to be open to God? When God is mentioned in connection with our loss, most of us immediately want to ask: Why? Why, God? Why did this happen? Why did you allow this tragedy?

I believe that my tears and my pain over my loss are exceeded by God’s tears and God’s pain over my loss. God knows, for God has been there where we are in our loss.

Tragedy can drive us away from God in bitter disappointment or tragedy can lead us to God in longing hope. The choice is ours! For me, a change occurred in my grief as I change my thinking.

Grief is an experience common to us all. We all lose someone we love sometime, somehow. All of us grieve but not all of us grieve with hope. The basis for my hope, even in my grief, lies in this faith claim: in life and in death we belong to God

Hope thou in God My Soul.

Choices

Today I met my Teacher, He said “Be still my dear,
Your thoughts are causing aching, Your suffering brings me here.”
I stopped and faced my Teacher, So I could hear the words he said, How did he know my turmoil?
Thoughts running through my head.

I saw the pain across his face, The sadness in his eyes,
It hurt to think my turmoil, Was affecting one so wise.
I placed my hand upon my heart, For there lay all my pain,
Was then he made me realise, Suffering was my choice again.

Why did I do this to myself?
And choose to hurt inside, Hadn’t I suffered long enough?
Why did I choose to hide?

I knew inside I had the strength, To rise above all pain,
I knew the choice to suffer now, Had been mine once again.
I knew the choice of happiness, Lay there within my soul,
I’d only got to choose it, And once again feel whole.

The Teacher smiled so broadly, As he wiped away my tears,
For he knew I’d found the answers, Hidden behind my fears.
He placed his hands upon my head, And with Love began to heal,
All my scars from suffering, The pain I’d chose to feel.

Joanne Finwall

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey