As Summer stumbles out of season and Autumn chills begin to nip, my soul begins to stir. I know what lies ahead, sheets will be changed to flannel, fires will be built, thermostats will be raised and warmth will only be found inside my home. My family will start to come in. Days will become much shorter and a reflective darkness will lay hold. I will dress the Winter table placing each piece with care but one seat will remain empty one dish will not be filled and an ache will begin to beat in my heart like the rhythm of a familiar tune. Christmas will soon be upon us and Joy will be thick in the air, we will sing of Christ come from Heaven and I will long to be there.
After loss Joy is always mingled with pain, like sour bitter gall intertwined with the delight of knowing an unquenchable thirst. Weeping and gladness start to wrestle in my spirit and I am found holding on for dear life on waiting to be blessed. We will open gifts and gladness will be felt but it will be fleeting and will only remind me of a treasure gifted in heaven, one I cannot open yet, one I can only dimly see. “Heal me Lord and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved for you are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14
Praise sweet praise will only be uttered at first from my lips almost like a melodious grumbling, “Lord I thank you for your gracious love for the promise of Heaven for the generous forgiveness of my sins.” ” I thank you for memories made and now remembered making the ache of earth and its bittersweet agony more bearable”. “Lord I thank you for only one chair empty, and the full winter table, for the bounty of harvest for the flannel wrapped rest.” “Lord thank you that you do not forget one of your children and me, being like my father cannot forget.” ” Lord thank you that I am slowly being healed of the chasm of heartache, slowly being filled by you.” The rhythm sets in now like a slow-moving train like a little toy drum like a soft Christmas carol. My gratitude starts to minister Heavens truth to my heart. “Heal me and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved for you are my praise.” Proudly singing now like the Summer sparrow, “Lord you are my praise, Lord you are the Gift, Lord you are my healing.”
And now I see that I have been gifted with emptiness? Gifted with pain? Gifted with loss? Gifted with grief? I was opened and received much grace through pain, receiving Kingdom Mindfulness like a gift I never knew I needed. I long for heaven like a child longs for Christmas morning on Christmas eve. I have been poured out only to be filled again, filled again with the warm winter wine. Broken to be healed, empty to be gifted, made poor to see treasure, having a child in heaven so I will long to go home. I am healed and at the same time longing to be healed, singing the praises of redemption waiting ever so patiently to be redeemed. Accepting the unmerited gift of Christ yet longing to open it, it and the fullness it contains.
“But as for me, I would seek God and I would place my cause before God; Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number. Job 5:8-9. So that He sets on high those that are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. Job 5:11. “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Job:5 17. “For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds and His hand also Heals, Job 5:18. “You will know that your tent is secure, “You will know that your descendants will be many, and your offspring as the grass of the earth. “You will come to the grave in full vigor, Like the stacking of the grain in its season. Job 5:24-26.