FreerangeFriday: The Gift of Grief

by Lilly Lewin
HEART collage 2020

By Lilly Lewin

Our theme at Godspacelight for the beginning of this new year is healing. This month, I have offered us different gifts to open as we move into the New Year as a way of processing last year before we move too quickly into 2021. For many of us, turning the calendar page didn’t change much, it didn’t allow for the excitement most Januarys bring. Here in the States, we’ve had a rocky start with skyrocketing covid numbers, 400,000 deaths due to the pandemic, and a major attack on democracy. Thankfully, a new President was inaugurated this week. I know not everyone was happy about that, but for me, it ended four years without a plan, without empathy, and four years with a leader who lacked compassion. I realized just how depressed I have been due to all the chaos and conflict.

The night before the inauguration, we were invited to remember the 400,000 friends, family and neighbors who have died this year due to Covid-19. The Washington Mall was filled with flags and lights and music helped us reflect and remember.
We cannot heal if we don’t take time to process our sorrow and all the grief we have felt this past year. Today, I invite you to open the gift of grief.

The Gift of Grief.
Most of us need to stop and grieve the losses of 2020 and now 2021, too.
Loss of friends and family
Loss due to death
Loss due to lack of travel
Loss due to lock down and pandemic safety measures
Loss of rhythms and traditions and ways we’ve loved before
Loss of rhythms of work and school
Loss of jobs themselves
Loss of innocence when it comes to how we see ourselves
How we see our country
How we see even the church
We no longer can hide our eyes
We now understand the brokenness around us.

We have the invitation to remember
We have an invitation to pause in these days ahead… some of us in lock down again
Some of us trying way too hard to be normal…
It doesn’t really work for me to be normal this year.
There is a glaze of sadness… covering the day to day.
I’m choosing to open the gift of grief even though it’s painful. Even though I hate crying and I’m not good at grieving.

Jesus says that we will be blessed as we mourn.

Jesus knows all the sadness and all the pain we are feeling today and all the grief and trauma we’ve experienced in recent months.

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Today I choose to open the gift.

One way I have opened the gift of grief and started to heal is through art. I have prayed through my sketching with crayons and with paint.

HEART collage 2020

HEART collage 2020

The painting above is a mixed medium piece I’m working on… inspired by my prayers for healing for this broken world and my heartbreak and sorrow over the division, violence, and insurrection.
And inspired by the suffering in the pandemic.

We all need to acknowledge the heartbreak we are feeling right now so we can let Love heal us.F4EB446B 31C0 4B85 876E D8C1DB1B7D7F

This crayon drawing allowed me to actually pour out the tears I have been holding back for months. Through the process of drawing my tears, I was able to cry out to God and express my sorrow & grief.
Pick colors that represent sorrow, grief, your tears. Draw a your tears. Even if it’s just waves of color, lines, circles, scribble… as you draw, pour out your sorrow and allow Jesus to heal you. 
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What do you need to pour out to God?

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Draw the Outline of a Heart

What’s in your heart today?

Draw an outline of a heart and fill it in with colors, with shapes, with words that represent your feelings, your grief.
So much sadness
So much heartbreak.
I need healing, we need healing.
We need the hope of love that heals.
We need to harden not our hearts today, but lean into love!
We need to receive Love!
Loving ourselves so we can
Love our neighbor!
Believing we are loved so we can love rather than judge and hate!
Asking God/Jesus for help because we cannot do it on our own!
Asking God/Jesus to help us love, especially to help us love our enemies in the midst of everything!
Learning just how hard it is to listen in order to love!
And loving those we don’t understand or who are so different! Help us to Love!
Help us to Love Anyway!
Help me Jesus! Help us Jesus!
Help us grieve.
Help us heal.
You are our only hope … you are Love!

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Darlene Little January 22, 2021 - 11:30 am

Absolutely hit the mark, will need to sit with it, I always want to rush on to get busy doing this is an invitation to be with me.

Barry Earp January 22, 2021 - 12:03 pm

Thank you Lilly, very timely and pertinent, reminding us about Jesus’s power to love ourselves and others, so necessary at the moment

Dawn Huberty January 22, 2021 - 4:52 pm

I am grieving the death of my brother and sister, who respectively left earth last February and March. It’s almost been a year for each of them. I am saddened, heartsick, missing them. It’s a constant state of grief. I know they are both home with Jesus. That makes me smile. It’s hard to heal from monumental death.

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