If I’m honesr, it’s days four AND five. But who’s counting, right?
One moment our small formation group was celebrating that we were back together after a break. The next, we were grieving news that the passing of someone we all love was imminent. Cancer treatment had been halted and family called.
The reality of what her absence would mean settled over us like a cup of strong coffee sobers a drunk.
One shed tears, some had to speak their grief, another was uncharacteristically silent.
Yet, rather than leaving us under a morose, dark cloud, we were graced with a gift that comes only through shared pain.
Our misshapen circle in the sunlit living room seemed to grow smaller. It was as if connective tissue was being formed between chairs drawing us more tightly together.
In that instant, I became aware of how we are shaped by sorrow, formed by community. That trudging through dark places nurtures empathy and trust, moving us beyond ourselves as perhaps no other experience can.
Since we are not spared life’s difficult milestones, of which death is one, I find myself asking, “Am I becoming the kind of person who can hold both the agony and the ecstasy, and be at peace trusting that God is present and at work in it all?”
I am becoming increasingly aware that it is possible, even glimpse it from time to time. And so my prayer is, “May it be so”.
Where are you being asked to hold both joy and sorrow? How are you being formed by being in community?