Monday, September 11, 2006

Grief

It's been a rough couple of weeks. We had to bury a couple of our own. There is nothing I can say to describe the sorrow.

I searched for something that could begin to express what it feels like to lose someone you love. I found part of a poem written from the perspective of a woman who believes she has lost her husband. Her cries are haunting, and her expression unforgettable.

Song of Solomon tells a story of two people very much in love, a husband and a wife. The wife falls asleep and dreams that her beloved had gone. Her dream had become a nightmare as she realizes he is gone from her and feels her loss.

SS 5:6 I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer.

Her heart had been ripped apart at the prospect of being without the one she loves. And, nothing on this earth could console her while she was apart from him.

All we can think about is summed up in those words of Solomon… I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. We opened our eyes on Tuesday and a man we laughed with, a man we fought beside, a man we loved, a man who seemed to bring so much joy and happiness to the table was gone. There are no words that can express the panic, the sense of emptiness and an overall sense that something important was lost forever. And, nothing on this earth could console us now that he was gone.

In the poem I read the wife did not really lose her husband, his absence was only a nightmare. The loss she felt was as real to her as anything in her life. Her heart recognizes the absence of her God. If you look back to the previous verses you see that she had turned him away, and the hurt she felt was because God was no longer to be a comfort to her.

Her peace that came from knowing his presence left with him. Her only hope for quieting her heart and regaining that peace that comes with his presence was to invite his return. The pain she felt served to remind her of the impact His presence made upon her life. Because she hurt she knew that He was important to her.

In the words of Charles Spurgeon, "The happiest condition of a Christian out of heaven is to live in the conscious enjoyment of the presence of the Lord Jesus. When the love of Christ is in the heart by the Holy Spirit, the believer is the most fortunate of all creation. It does not matter what sorrow you endure; the Holy Spirit is able to make the heart live above all surrounding circumstances, so that we can have summer in the midst of winter, and pluck our ripest fruits when there are neither leaves nor fruits upon the tree.

But the Christian is unhappy whenever he loses the sense of the presence of his Lord. Then the pillars of his house are made to tremble; his fresh springs are dried up; the sun is hid from his eyes; and the sky is so dark overhead that he walks, rather wanders, about and nothing can bring him comfort. If he was of the world he could live in the world, but having been taught by grace to look for something better, the loss of that is especially difficult.

I question whether the most of Christians do not sometimes lose the enjoyment of the Lord's company. I question yet further, whether there are not very many professors who live contentedly under that loss; nor can I account for this, except on the supposition that they can have known but little of that presence their best estate. Otherwise, they must be in a most sickly and slumbering condition of soul, gradually becoming worse and worse; or else they never could bear to have things as they are with them.
It seems to me that a real believer in a sound state of health no sooner loses the presence of his Lord than he begins to cry for him. Where has Christ gone? Why have I lost sight of him? The sounds of his footsteps still linger in the ear. The believer wakens and starts, and asks himself, "How is this? Where has my Beloved gone? What is it that has chased him from me? I cannot live if he leave me; therefore, let me speedily seek him, and never rest until once more I am restored to full communion with him." Let me, then, talk a little with such believers as have lost for awhile the comfortable presence of their Lord."

Would you notice if the presence of God departed from your life? How important isthata to you?

7 Comments:

Blogger Roland said...

I'll answer the question.
I would notice, but because I get too busy sometimes, I might not notice right away. I admit it to my shame, but it is true.
I would notice though.
I'm sorry I haven't looked in a while.
Very encouraging.
Thanks Todd.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Mom said...

Todd,

I'm saddened that the world has come to this point that you and all the other soldiers have to experience this. It's hard to believe that its been 5 years since the day the World Trade Center was hit and it all started. How can anyone believe that by sacrificing their lives to kill is the will of God. I don't see it but someone told me you don't know what's in their heart -What Heart??? If you can explain it I'd really like to know.

It's a great thing you are doing over there and I am very proud of you and I pray for your safety.

Love always, Mom

8:17 AM  
Blogger Judy Schletty said...

Hi Todd,

While I consider you and all of our soldiers heroes, I pray our involvement in this war ends soon. Even though I just listened a small segment of the memorial service at the World Trade Center on 9/11, I could feel the grief. Wish I could remember the words from some of the beautiful poetry about the survivors' love and loss.

War also seemed to be brought to light when Randy and I toured a museum dedicated to the soldiers who served in the Vietnam war at the Depot Museum in Duluth this past weekend.

I read some of the soldiers' letters home and they described the cultural clash. Somebody said that they couldn't believe how people tried to live amidst a war which was going on all around them. And then the poverty of Vietnam made the economically depressed areas of St. Paul look palatial!

Recently I read in the newspaper here that there are more permanent residents in Iraq trying to get passports out of the country. In fact, so much so, that they can barely keep up.

We all miss you and keep you in our prayers. Stay strong. God bless.
Love, Judy and Uncle Randy

12:49 AM  
Blogger Judy Schletty said...

Hi Todd,

As we celebrated birthdays on Sunday, I was surprised when my sister invited me to go to Ireland and Great Britain with her next year about this time. And I consider myself fortunate that my younger sister (your age) would like to travel with me!

I think it will be good for Randy and I to spend some time alone and I know he will look forward to spending more time with his friends and family.

Fall has arrived and glad we went to Duluth last weekend because we're getting November-like weather now and will be rainy the whole weekend.

I hope you and everybody in your family is doing alright. Saw Connor briefly Monday evening at Grandma's house and looks like he's getting ready to start running around the house. Haven't heard whether anybody went down to Blair last weekend for the Cheesefest and Knutson family reunion.

Have a good day! I receive emails from Cousin Jeanne about every day. Now they have an exchange student from Finland. She amazes me with all her knowledge about our political candidates and the issues that affect our state and nation. Makes me feel as though I should bone up on those issues, too!

God bless. Judy
I know Uncle Randy keeps you in his prayers every day, too.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Judy Schletty said...

Hi Todd,
Our pastor talked about Peace last weekend because it went along with our readings which spoke about children and innocence. (Mk 9:36-37). He said we lose our innocence as adults and reminded us how Our Lord told us to be innocent like a child again as innocence is the sign of becoming a great adult. ("Lord, I believe.") Our pastor also said leadership is about service; not for domination and control over others. I hope and pray Jesus challenges all of us to heal ourselves, and through his grace help us regain our innocence again, so we can be people of compassion while caring and serving each other as the Body of Christ.
May the Peace of Our Lord be with You always,
Judy and Uncle Randy

7:37 PM  
Blogger Judy Schletty said...

Hi Todd,

Hope you are well and staying strong.
Randy and I thought of you and all of our soldiers at a concert at the Univ. of Minn. Sat. night. These are the words which were sung in a foreign language by the U of M choir:
THE DREAM (U Tran)
I had a dream...
I dreamt that the earth was a garden full of flowers of every color.
I dreamt that the earth was one nation and all humanity its citizens.
I dreamt that humankind was a family,
And all people brothers and sisters;
And that men and women were seen as equal,
Like the two wings of a bird.
I dreamt of a world where all wars ceased,
Where peace flowed like a river.
I dreamt of a world where there was food for the hungry,
Healing for the sick, Comfort for the sad,
All given out of love;
A world where everybody had a home,
Where wealth was shared,
Where each human life was a jewel to be treasured.
I dreamt that the earth was a house and all living things its tenants.
I dreamt that all humanity cared for the earth:
Its clear water, its clean air, its incomparable beauty, its mystery.
I dreamt that all farmers cherished the land,
All fishermen cherished the sea;
And that all humanity everywhere could hear the song of the earth.
And I woke, and I saw, and I said:
Let us learn the earth's ancient song,
While we write a new song for humanity,
Let us sing for a beautiful future,
For sapphire skies and emerald seas,
For love and joy and wisdom and peace,
A future full of the voices of children
A future full of dreams.

We have a dream....

Take care as cousin Jeanne says to me and God bless.
Love, Judy and Uncle Randy

9:13 PM  
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8:02 PM  

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