Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grace and Peace Abound

By Belinda 

I have a few quiet moments in the lounge of Guelph Bible Conference Centre. Soon the colleagues who are here with me attending the three day Mediation Training from Conrad Grebel College;University of Waterloo, will begin to drift in as the scent of breakfast cooking lures them down, but I have these moments to share with you, dear readers.

As I have reconnected with coworkers working throughout the province of Ontario with our agency, over the past two days, sitting beside different people at breaks, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, the topic of Mum's death has surfaced many times.

People knew of her death and had been praying at work, and wanted to share their caring and concern as we met here. One by one they tenderly broached the subject and it has been so good to share the many blessings associated with her passing from this world to the next. People's eyes have moistened as many of them recounted their own stories of losing a parent. It has been an honour and blessing to hear those precious stories. There is still one that I'm hoping to hear over lunch today. 

Yesterday I sat beside Mark at lunch; one of the pastors on our staff and this young man; young enough to be my son; asked how I was doing, his brown eyes pools of  caring and concern.

"Am I missing something?" I asked, "I just feel such peace and gratitude in all the details of Mum's death."

I didn't want to be avoiding grief, but "grief" doesn't seem an appropriate word to apply to how I feel. I don't want to dishonour Mum in any way, but feels as though someone "full of years," as Abraham was, reached the finish line of her race and crossed it. It feels such a natural and grace filled thing.

Mark put my mind at rest. He said that grieving jumps all over the place, doesn't follow a neat pattern, and affirmed accepting and going with the feelings as they come.

As if to confirm the verse that has been on my mind over the past days; it appeared in this evening's Daily Light:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
New International Version (NIV)
Believers Who Have Died
 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.


Paula Walker said...

Amen and Amen !

Marilyn said...

Put no expectations on grief. It, like water, finds its own course. All we do is go with it. I have found the processing of grief often a time where grace and peace abound, defying common notions. Lives lived full and well, where people keep short accounts with each other, asking forgiveness as needed and extending grace as a matter of course....the leave-takings are often surrounded with blessed peace. Nothing left undone. You are well prayed-for.

Belinda said...

Thank you for the encouragement and affirmation Paula and Marilyn. I love the metaphor of water for grief.

Susan said...

Your journey - the gratitude you're feeling, the peace of "fulfillment" rather than "loss and regret", is such a testimony to Mum - to who she is, how she loved and lived her life. It's seems absolutely right and fitting. It's how she would want you to "be".

It's how I want those who love me, to feel when I'm gone... that all has been fulfilled. There is nothing left unsaid or undone - nothing to grieve for. That they know above all else that they are loved and deeply valued...

Susan said...

P.S. There's your photo, Dave. :) Aren't they exquisite? Absolutely perfect!

Dave Hingsburger said...

Grief, Celebration, Remembrance ... all of these combine when love is lost in the present but expected again in the future.

Belinda said...

Susan and Dave, Your words described and added so beautifully to my experience. Thank you for expressing so well exactly how this all feels.