“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”
An Offering of Sorrow
It had been a blue-ribbon Saturday in the Martin home, not a single thing stealing our attention, unless you count the wispy clouds in the September sky. (And we did.)
The previous weeks had left us soul-sick once again, our hopefulness worn down from walking wobbly upon this life with one foot in hope and the other in brokenness, our will to endure left badly bruised.
We were more desperate for solace than we knew, quietly thrilled when it showed up as a string of hours to play, nest, dream, and rest.
Morning eased into afternoon, a processional of oatmeal, ham sandwiches, and finally, a home-baked casserole — the signature dish of the cozy and content. Defying all logic, our two youngest children spent the day eyeballs-deep in collaborative, imaginative play while our older lost himself in a book. My husband and I napped to the tune of cicadas while the world rushed past. We capped it all off with a bike ride to the diner for ice cream sundaes drenched in fudge.
If it sounds spectacular, it’s because it was. It was a dream, a day I’ll hold onto for a while, grabbing hold of it in a pinch, when my heart feels weary.
But the best part was the bitter end, when our daughter came downstairs tear-streaked, shoulders shaking. “I don’t feel safe tonight,” she sobbed. “I don’t want to be alone.”
The easy rhythm of our day had been lovely, but it paled in comparison to the moment she came to us in sadness, in fear, in need.
God delights in our joy, but the story doesn’t end there.
He blesses those who mourn, sits with the brokenhearted, heaves our burden onto His own shoulder. God is greater than the ways we wound and are wounded, but He also knows sorrow and He promises we’ll never face ours alone.
Today, suffering a history laced with pain and confusion, may we allow ourselves room to truly bear the pain of a kingdom waiting to be rescued.
May we feel the presence of God very near, collecting our tears, receiving them as worship.