Loss

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 119:49-72 (Morning)
Psalm 49, [53] (Evening)
1 Kings 17:1-24
Phil. 2:1-11
Matt. 2:1-12
 


How strange that this passage from Kings should come to me because I have lost a child. In this book Elijah makes affirmations about who God is. For those who are thirsty Elijah shows them a brook and for those who are hungry, ravens who bring bread. Finally, to a widow who has nothing to eat he says to prepare a little food and “it was enough for many days.” But after this, the son of the woman became ill “and there was no breath left in him.” So Elijah carried him up and laid him upon his own bed and cried to the Lord, “let this child’s soul come into him again, and the Lord hearkened to the voice of Elijah.”

How strange indeed for those of us who have lost someone. Does God not save my child because I do not live in early times? Or because I am not able to find a prophet like Elijah? Or is my child not saved because I do not believe enough or have done something I shouldn’t have done?

No. In the strange way that God manifests – blessed are the poor, those that hunger now, you that weep – I wonder. The beatitudes seem to promise so much. Nothing tells us all will go right. Caedman, a first poet, telling about God in a translation by John DuVal tells of God’s “manner of thinking” So different from ours. We need to see the image of Elijah lying across the child who has died and healing her. Somehow that is what my spiritual life can handle. But the other healing of me knows that my spiritual life can become deeper as I walk through losses.
 


Written by Rebecca Newth Harrison

I am always at church by nine so I can sit and talk with friends. Then I go to choir practice at 10:15. Church is at eleven and that is my Sunday schedule. I have gone on many choir trips and the trip to holy lands with Lowell’s group. I have two children and three grandchildren. New book of poetry will come out this month.

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