I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Uncovering. And Cheap Subsitutes.

I sat in my home the other night, after serving dinner to my family. Seated were my husband, my Daddy, my babylove, and myself. We sat there eating at the dinner table that sat in My Momma’s and Daddy’s home for years…..eating off of the dishes they’d had since the eighties, I’m sure. I love them, they’ve got sunflowers in the middle, and they make me smile….simply because they were hers. Then I walked into the living room and sat on the furniture that was also in my parents home for many years. It is a heartwarming feeling to know I have many of My Momma’s belongings. In a way, it makes me still feel a little “connected” to her. Honestly, looking at that kitchen table was a hard thing for me. It’s such a beautiful table and it has ceramic tiles on the top……I remember many meals at that table. But for almost a year and a half, I didn’t see it. I had it covered with a tablecloth, because it was just really hard for me to look at, I didn’t want to be reminded of what had happened. Then several months ago, the table was uncovered.

No particular reason, just one day I decided I wanted to look at it. So it’s here, uncovered. Maybe one day I’ll have enough nerve to let you know everything that happened. After all, life is made up of all of our stories, the good and the bad.

All these thoughts have been flooding my mind lately. In a world where grief is covered up, ignored, or minimalized…….I’ve learned many things about people. I’ve learned many things about myself. As wonderful a thing it is to have my Momma’s belongings, to be her daughter, to know the love shared between us, our whole family…….it is still NOT HER. I could “pretend” I’m okay…..that after a year and a half, I’ve “checked off the list” of what is required of those dealing with grief……I could tell you exactly what you want to hear….”I’m fine!! I’m happy, and life goes on.” BUT, that wouldn’t be the truth. That would be a cheap substitute. I could cling to all My Momma’s things…..hold them dearly…..but it’s not her. She and I will be reunited one day…..just as Christ and his Bride will be reunited. I will always speak of her, remember her, think of her, tell stories about her…..I think there is MUCH honour in that. The Body of Christ, the Church, is not only those living today…..it’s all those through history, and all those that are living, and all those that will be born…….there is honour in remembering our loved ones. There is truth in that. There is freedom in that.

We are never told to ignore reality. We are never told to “pretend” things are fine. We are never told to go through this life alone. We are never told to cover up what we’re going through. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures point us directly opposite of that. We’re never asked to ignore our pain and our hurts. We’re never asked to “Be strong, hold it together, and just smile!”. We’re told if we are going to choose to follow Jesus, to be LIKE him. He was compassionate. He mourned for those He loved. He mourned with those who mourned. He, Himself…JESUS….prayed to the Father. He kept company with those in need. He kept company with those whom nobody else wanted to keep company with. He loved…and loves. He, Himself said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) He wept. He is the God of comfort, of hope, of love. He hears the cries of the poor, needy, and oppressed. (Psalm 72:12-14) He is the God who wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. (John 4:24) He is the God who keeps our very tears. (Psalm 56:8) But if we’re keeping parts of ourselves from Him…..and from others…..how will we truly be able to worship Him? If we NEVER see ourselves as needy. If we never cry out to Him. If we can make it through each day, each milestone, each moment, each joy, each tragedy, each triumph, each valley, each mountaintop without Him, and without ONE ANOTHER…..then what is this life for? How can we expect to be LIKE HIM when we never are even HONEST with Him, ourselves, or each other? How can we BE the Church when we’re divided, reclusive, unloving, and unwelcoming? How can we usher in the Kingdom of God when we won’t live through this life together, in community, and in love? How can we usher in His kingdom when we’re too busy building up our own? How can we share in this life with one another if we remain closed off from one another? I was telling a friend the other day that one of the most comforting things in the world is to have someone just there with you when you’re going through a hard time. Just to have someone there, not judging, not pointing a finger, not offering advice…..merely there as comfort….merely there to maybe cry with us……that is showing God’s love. I hope we’re not settling for any cheap substitutes. There is freedom in living in community, bearing with one another through whatever is happening around and within us. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)

What part of ourselves are we keeping from Him? What are we keeping from one another? He knows, yes. He always knows. He knows our very hearts. (Psalm 139:1-4, Acts 15:8) But just as we hope our children come to us with every need, just as we hope we can wrap our arms around them when they are hurt….whether it’s a small hurt or a big hurt…..and do we not LOVE to be their comfort? Do we not LOVE encouraging them, loving them? Do we not, ourselves, hurt WITH THEM? Why would we expect any less from Our Father in Heaven? Why would we deprive ourselves of our VERY NEED FOR HIM? Why would we deprive ourselves as living as we’re supposed to be living---in community? “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden…” (Matthew 11:28).…….He told us to come. That is all we NEED to do…..simply come. And before we can come, we need to recognize our great need for Him…everyday, in every moment. We NEED HIM, and we NEED ONE ANOTHER.


Vicki said...

I gave you a bloggy award!!

liz said...

You are on my mind. Praying for you, girl!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

I hope your weekend was great!

Stopped by to tell you about my 2nd Blogiversary celebration going on today. I'm giving away 2 gifts to 2 commenters on the giveaway post. Ends midnight tonight. Come on over and enter. Looking forward to seeing your entry.

Have a wonderful day!

Tiaras said...

I'm so sorry for your sadness . . . really . . I don't have words to make your heart feel lighter . . . I was never close with my own mother, basically I grew up with one that was present in my home, but not a present parent. But you are so lucky to have such a deep love for your mom and that you can miss her! This was a nice post.

Amber Koter-Puline said...

I nominated you for a blog award: Thanks for all you do for Survivor Mamas!