I asked myself this week, why I was upset over something seemingly small. Why did it matter so much to me? What was the issue really? It wasn’t until I went through my list of grievances and had named them in my prayer journal that it hit me. I was once again in the place of imagined slights and small misunderstandings, which manifest when I grieve. I lost a dear friend last year . . . One who listened to me, encouraged me and believed in me when I did not believe in myself.
Unless we’re able to stay in one place most of our life, there a few people who share a long journey with us. Precious are those friends who understand us better than we do ourselves. But painful is their loss. Their absence is felt acutely. We feel it in the phone call which isn’t made – the story that she or he would have enjoyed – their unique perspective on the world.
Grief is a silent thief, messing with relationships – creating full blown crisis over minuscule issues. We don’t always recognize that the issue is not the one in front of us, but the unnamed loss in the backdrop of our life. Small things irritate when before we’d brush them off. We take our stands, stake our claims and only later do we see how grief has distorted our perspective. The response made when the heart is weeping, is not the same as when the heart sings.
I thought I was doing quite well with grief. Two and a half pages into my complaint, I reached the core – that place where truth and God meet. The blessing in all of this is grace which settles in when we arrive in that place where truth resides, along with healing tears. God comforts those who grieve.
I was reminded again to recognize grief and pain in the lives of others . . . to be conscious that irritation may have more to do with yesterday’s loss, than today’s complaint. The apostle Paul says it so well: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” II Corinthians 1:3-4