A perfectly timed letter was in my mailbox on Monday. I checked the mail after running on the treadmill a while and thinking about how numb and almost robotic I have felt lately. Certainly a part of grief, but just as confusing and painful as all the other parts.
A dear friend had sent me a heartfelt card and included was a copy of a devotional excerpt. It was a short narrative describing in first person how Mary must have felt after Jesus's death on the cross. One thought reads: I am nothing in a nowhere! Sounds uncannily familiar ...
As I continued to read the words the sobs just came over me as I realized not only was a wonderful person thinking of me, the Lord was thinking of me as well. And He wanted to meet me where I was, in that place where my heart and emotions have built up around them the strongest of brick walls so as not to be penetrated. Too much feeling seems dangerous right now. I am so weary of feeling.
So what does a good Christian girl do when nothing feels right?
More from the devotional:
[Sarah], do this:
Even in your despair, observe the rituals. It is the Sabbath; then let it be the Sabbath after all. Pray your prayers. However hollow and unsatisfying they may feel, God can fill them. God is God, who made the world from nothing -- and God as God can still astonish you. He can make of your mouthings a prayer -- and of your groanings a hymn. Observe the ritual.
One story is done indeed, [Sarah]. You're right. You've entered the dark night of the soul.
But another story -- one you cannot conceive of (it's God who conceives it!) -- starts at sunrise. And the empty time between, while sadly you prepare the spices, is in fact preparing you! Soon you will change. Soon you will become ... a saint. "As dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things" ...
Come again on Sunday, [Sarah], and see how it is that God makes saints. Come, follow.
Reliving the Passion, Walter Wangerin, Jr.
To anyone feeling as I do right now, don't lose heart. Keep persevering and doing what you know is right ... soon enough I trust our hearts will follow. <3
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5