Saturday, July 21, 2012

Good Grief by Martin Wiles

He wailed loudly; she sat ashen faced. He struggled and wanted to go to his heavenly home; she cried and said she wanted him at their house. She lay slumped over in the chair; he smiled and told me what a wonderful lady she was. Expressions of grief and reactions to loss.

“Good grief” is a phase used to express disappointment, but what it says is actually true. Expressing grief is good and necessary when dealing with death, tragedy and other forms of loss.

David-the psalmist and king, was no stranger to loss and tragedy but wasn’t afraid to express grief. Absalom-one his sons, led a rebellion against him. As a loving father, David gave instructions to deal gently with his son in battle, but one of the commanders disobeyed the king’s order and killed Absalom. David wept, mourned and wished he could have died in his son’s place. The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept (II Samuel 18:33).

“Real men don’t cry” was once taught to boys and men. Sadly, the teaching made them think crying was for sissies and a sign of weakness. But David wasn’t a sissy. As a shepherd boy, he fought lions and bears protecting his father’s sheep. While in the military, he experienced greater victories than the king himself. Real men-and women, cry. David did.

Grief not expressed is grief repressed, and grief repressed is loss not dealt with. Grieving over loss-in whatever form we choose, is accepting what has happened so we can move on. We don’t have to like death, tragedy, unfaithfulness, financial setbacks or any other foreign matter invading our territory, but we must accept and deal with them. When we don’t, depression, anger and other forms of maladaptive behavior will follow. Learn to see grief as healthy.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, teach us how to properly grieve when loss enters our life.