Living With Loss Archives 2013

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  • My Son (poem) by Margaret E. Head 
  • When Tomorrow Starts Without Me (poem) 
  • Drop Thy Dew of Quietness (poem) 
  • What Will Your Tombstone Say? by David Maxson
  • Moving Our of Our Tents by Edwin Crozier
  • Not Growing Old (poem)
  • Do We Tend To Overlook Some Grievers?

 
My Son
Margaret E. Head

Were you but a dream, my precious son?
That tiny boy we held so closely in our arms?
Were you not real, the child our hearts did warm?
You, who pleased us with your boyish charm!
You, my son, who lay awake at night,
And yet, for you, the days seemed far too short.
Your zest for life would all too soon be overlaid with grief and pain,
Oh, Yes, your father left us, Oh so quickly, with no one to blame.
His life snuffed out, that black and fateful day
he went aboard that plane and flew away,
And took with him the joy, only a father can give.
But days and weeks go on, and we must live.
And live we did, but only with the help of God and friends,
Yet, grief held on, a grievous trial that would not end.
Somehow you grew in grace and knowledge of the Lord,
and, later you would preach His precious Word.
You married, Oh so sweet, your college friend,
And who could even think so wonderful a thing would ever end!
But you had changed into another man!
A slow, yet swift transition we could never really understand.
Your days of preaching, never more to be,
brought days and weeks of GRIEF and SADNESS to your family, and to me!
Why were your nights so void of sleep?
Why were your promises so hard to keep?
Why were bad decisions overtaking good?
Something impossible to be understood!
Your mind was brilliant, why was it not working right my son?
These days, 'twas hard to ever say to you, "Well done"!
And then, your doctors revealed the underlying cause
of this disease you had, that was so filled with tentacles and claws!
It took you down, it ruled your mind
until your senses were all left behind!
Your nights were filled with untold grief,
and, as for so many years, you could not sleep.
Oh yes, Bipolar was the dreadful, frightening word!!!
One we wished with all our hearts that we had never heard.
And now, we know the symptoms, yes, your sister's life,
Was also filled with with this same life-shattering strife.
She too had heard the awful word!
BIPOLAR! But she never really understood,
until her daughter would also be within the grasp
of this disorder, that was as poison as an asp!
You suffered much, my precious son!
And now you're gone,
leaving me to wish I could again, hold you in my loving arms!
But, Oh! my special longing hope for you, my precious son,
To hear our GOD so kindly say to you, "Well done!"
 

 

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When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for awhile,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today for life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same day
There's no longing for the past.

But you have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you take my hand
And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.

 

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Dew will never gather while there is either heat or wind. The temperature must fall, and the wind cease, and the air come to a point of coolness and rest--absolute rest, so to speak--before it can yield up its invisible particles of moisture to bedew either herb or flower. So the grace of God does not come forth to rest the soul of man until the still point is fairly and fully reached.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease:
Take from our souls the strain and stress;
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the pulses of desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, its beats expire:
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm!

unknown

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After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being 110 years old. Joshua 24:29

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If you could decide what will be written on your tombstone, what would you choose? I think Joshua would be very pleased with how he was remembered after his death: "Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD." Fourteen times in the book of Joshua, Moses is referred to as "the servant of the LORD." This is the first time this honorable title was given to Joshua. It is a testament to Joshua's faithfulness in leading the people on the conquest of the Promised Land.

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The book of Joshua begins with the lines: "After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua, Moses' assistant..." (1:1) Joshua began as Moses' assistant. He was called upon to be "strong and courageous," to be "careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant has commanded you." (1:6,7) At the end of his life, Joshua can be buried within the borders of his inheritance in peace, with the knowledge that he has been faithful to God's Word. He has walked in the steps of his mentor. He has proven himself worthy of the noble title: a servant of the LORD.

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Whatever is said about you at your funeral or written on your tombstone matters little in the end. The honors we receive from man are temporal. All that should matter is what our Father says about us when we stand before Him in judgment. Oh, that all of us should hear Him say in that day, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord."

Father, we count it a great honor and privilege to be called Your slaves! Help us to be strong and courageous to follow all of Your law!

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David Maxson

 

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Moving Out of Our Tents

Edwin L. Crozier

One of the great glories of being a Christian is that we do not have to share in one of the greatest fears men have: the fear of death. We look at these bodies we are wrapped in now and understand that they are corruptible, mortal, perishable, natural (I Corinthians 15:42-53). It gets sick. It gets old. It gets feeble. In time, it will be wracked with tremors. Our eyesight will grow dim. Our teeth will fall out. Our backs will stoop. Our legs and arms will tremble. Then eventually our heart will give out (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8).

But II Corinthians 5:1 gives us great hope: “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (ESV). The body we have now is merely a tent. It is a transient dwelling. It was never intended to be our permanent residence. Rather, God has a permanent dwelling for us that is not made with hands. Hebrews 9:11 explains what “not made with hands” means saying, “not made with hands, that is, not of this creation” (ESV). Please understand; this isn’t referring to a mansion in heaven. Paul isn’t talking about an actual building in which we will reside in eternity. He is talking about our resurrected bodies.

I certainly don’t want us to have a morbid fascination with death bordering on suicidal tendencies. But I’m often amazed how fixated I can become on preserving this body. We fight to hang on to these tents like we have no hope. Certainly, like Paul in Philippians 1:19-26, we may desire to remain in this life because of the work and service we can do for the Lord and His people here. But I know that my desire to stay usually has to do with a fear about what comes next. I don’t want to let go of this body. But Paul demonstrates that this would be a lot like a homeless man, sleeping in his pup tent on the streets, being offered a real house and yet struggling to hang on to the tent. I do that. How about you?

God has promised us a house/body not made with hands/not of this creation. When we move out of this tent, Paul goes on to say, we do not become unclothed, rather we become further clothed. Not only that, this further clothing is our mortality, that is, our death, being swallowed up in life (II Corinthians 5:4). We will have bodies that are full of life. They will not grow old. They will not sag. They will not tremble. They will not wrinkle. They will not get cancer. They will not have heart attacks. They will not have diabetes. They will not develop aneurisms. They will never die.

But there is more. We have an even better reason for wanting to move out of the tent and into the house. II Corinthians 5:6 says, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord” (ESV). The implication is once we are no longer at home in these bodies, we’ll be with the Lord. When we are in our permanent house, we’ll be with God. As I Corinthians 15:50 says, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (ESV), but our new bodies will.

So, Paul concludes, we aim to please God (II Corinthians 5:9). We long to be with Him. We want to do what draws us near to Him. When we put off this tent, we want to be in His presence, not away from it. We long to be clothed in the permanent dwelling, we long to be clothed with life, we long to be with God. So, let’s do our best to be with Him even now.

Certainly, don’t put the tent off on purpose. But don’t be afraid of it either. Only once we get rid of this tent can we have something better. And trust God, it is better.

www.bburgchurchofchrist.org

    Not Growing Old

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They say that I'm growing old,
I've heard them tell it times untold
In language plain and bold;
But I'm not growing old !

This frail shell in which I dwell
Is growing old, I know full well...
But I'm not the shell!

What if my hair is turning gray ?
Gray hair's honorable, they say.
What if my eyesight's growing dim ?
I can see to follow Him !

Who sacrificed His love for me
Upon the Cross of Calvary.
What should I care if Time's old plough
Has left its furrow on my brow ?

Another house---not made with hand--
Awaits me in the Glory Land!
What though I falter in my walk ?
What though my tongue refuse to talk ?

I still can tread the narrow way.
I still can watch, and praise and pray !
My hearing may not be as keen
As in the past it may have been.

Still I can hear my Savior say
In whispers soft, "This is the way".

The outward man (do what I can
To lengthen out this life's short span)
shall perish and return to dust,
As everything in nature must.

The Inward-Man, the Scriptures say,
Is growing stronger every day !
Then how can I be growing old,
When safe within my Savior's fold ?

`Ere long my soul shall fly away,
And leave this tenement of clay.
This robe of flesh I'll drop…and RISE
To seize the Everlasting Prize !

I'll meet you on the streets of gold
And prove that I'm not growing old !

          By John E. Roberts

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Do we tend to overlook some grievers?

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1. Some people who may be overlooked in their grief are: Those who are mourning their sin.  When someone comes to the knowledge that they are living in a particular sin, it is a very humbling moment.  To confess that sin before others and resolve to do better is also very humbling and emotionally draining sometimes. They may experience a great deal of guilt, and this does not go away magically.

2. How we can help: The Bible tells us to weep with those who weep.  That can be a hard thing to do when we are not in a particularly weepy mood! It is work to try and empathize with others who are grieving sin that we have never participated in. Unless we know exactly what this person is feeling, because we have been there ourselves, it can be hard to talk to and help that person.  Yet, without our love and support, this person could grow discouraged and drift back into the sin he/she is trying to come out of. We need to provide support through their grieving time.  Visits, cards, hospitality, phone calls, and just lending an ear are some of the ways we can be supportive.  Checking in frequently with the person and being non-judgmental about sin which has been repented of can help that person gain strength and allow them to rebound to a place of happiness and productivity in the church again.  Jesus taught in Luke 11 that when one "sweeps the house clean" he needs to make sure that worse thing's don't come back into the "house" by magnitudes! By filling our hearts and minds with good things after mourning our sin, we can climb back up and start afresh! Good brothers and sisters in Christ will provide the encouragement to weak brethren until they can once again stand on their own.

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1. Some people who may be overlooked in their grief are:  Teens who struggle with bad situations at school, who feel misunderstood by parents, intimidated by senior Christians, and so talk with no one about what troubles them.

2. How we can help:  Look for opportunities to be fully present, express love and acceptance, understanding.   If we wait for the young ones to seek us out, we will be waiting an awful long time.  They need us today.

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1. Some people who may be overlooked in their grief are:

those who are stoic and suffer silently.

those who are emotional, because it might make us uncomfortable (shame on us!)

those who "wear a mask," feeling their faith will be considered weak if they allow others into their pain.

2. How we can help:

No matter how great our faith is, pain is pain. so please let's don't assume the person who does not speak of his/her pain or is more upbeat is not suffering. ALWAYS acknowledge the pain/grief/loss of others. "Weep with those who weep." it's in The Book.




http://ourhopeonline.com

November 2017