“Dad, look at all of the ants!” Who stops to notice ants in a park? I had a job to do. My focus was on getting everything ready for baseball practice, so when my daughter called our attention to some ants on the ground, my initial response was the typical - “dad isn’t really paying attention'' - “Oooh.” But then I looked. There on the curb was a solid 8 feet of frenzied ant activity covering the curb. How could I have missed it?
There is a lot in life we miss simply because we are too busy, or too focused on something else. But just because we fail to stop and notice it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. We all will encounter losses in this life. We all will experience heartache. Grief simply is a part of life. We grieve the loss of what we love. But rather than being mindful of what we are going though, we often pass by our grief without stopping to take it all in. We might deny it, or try to domesticate or control it. Naturally we look for distractions; we get busy to focus on something else. Or we might try to find a way to escape our own mortality, pouring ourselves into our work or our kids. But all of these attempts are based on a misplaced faith. Instead, we are invited to turn our hearts to God.
The book of Psalms helps give voice to our souls. Of the 150 Psalms recorded in the bible, 38% of them contain a lament, a crying out to God in the midst of heartache and struggle. These prayers often begin with a plea, sometimes even questioning God - “God how could this happen? How long, oh God, will you remain silent?” But they also contain a praise - “But you, oh Lord, have been faithful. You have not forgotten your covenant with your people.” We live in the between - we often find ourselves in the moment between the plea and the praise.
This week we want to help you find your voice even in the midst of heartache. God invites us to share our laments, to share our hearts, for even when we feel forsaken, God is listening. God knows our heartache. God has not abandoned us in our grief. Good grief is a part of worship, for it turns our hearts back to God. Whether you have experienced a loss recently, are facing a hard time of your own, or just want to be a better neighbor and friend, we invite you to join us this Sunday as we kick off our series: Good Grief.
In Christ’s Service,
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