People are born
They grow and then die
Then we mourn
And for a time life’s a cry.
Recovering from grief
On a different perspective
We will find our relief
When we’ve learned
To be reflective.
The blessed spiritual discipline of contemplation is a thing mastered out of grief.
God compels us to search from within by exploring our outer world; the physical world we can touch, taste, feel. Grief can be good at least in that it forces us to learn how to reflect so as to honour the truth. And when we learn the truth that, as life ends it can begin again, we are no longer worried about throwing our old lives away, because the worthy bits of the old life come with the new life that’s reconstructed from the ruins of a life no longer in situ.
It is contemplation – the gift of knowhow, plus the capacity (the peace) to partake – that comes as we are refined out of grief’s fire. I say it from experience. No longer is there the wrangling to stay busy and shift my focus from my real issues. The real issues are right where I want to be. The real issues of life, when faithfully met, are the gateway beyond the fearful life into a life of far greater intimacy with ourselves; and God.
Isn’t it ironic that there is one thing an anxious person will desperately want? It’s the ability to be still, to enjoy space without that inner fretting that cannot be grasped. Isn’t it just as ironic that this one thing – a gift; that is stillness – is something enabled out of grief?
But how does it work?
I think it works like this. When we have stopped striving and have truly learned the art of routinely surrendering those things we previously couldn’t do without, where the things of the world have less allure, we find it is actually best for us to let go.
But it is a practiced thing; no one lands here overnight.
By reflective contemplation, by being present with God in the quietude of our hearts, we come to more fully know ourselves.
Grief has its advantages; compensations for what we have been through. One such compensation is the ability to be still within ourselves – to be still and know that God is God. Grief teaches us to sit in the painful moment and to occupy ourselves in productive contemplation.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.