14 January 2009

Losing Everything

Talk of the Nation has guests that were talking about losing everything. Now, I've never been in a situation where I've lost all my worldly possessions (like so many of the Katrina victims)...or all my health (to some disease or accident)...or all my loved ones (to some sort of terrible tragedy)...or all my money (like those Bernie Madaff victims)...or my way of life (again, like so many of the Katrina victims)...or my homeland (like my own grandparents, who became refugees and immigrants after World War II)...or all of the above (like Job). But, being someone who lives in a sinful world, I have been the victim of loss.

How does one deal with loss? How do I deal with loss? I have a situation in particular that keeps cropping up...every time I think I've figured out how to deal with this, it comes back. Every time I think I've forgiven the people involved, the hurt and anger comes back. It's a sense of vulnerability, of hurt, of shame, of anger, of rage and revenge.

Here's one thing I do know: the solution is not to 'check out.' Whether to lose myself in my work, in my family, in my sense of loss and hurt; or to tell myself that pain is an illusion; or to convince myself that the source of pain is an illusion...none of these is a good solution.

And here's another thing I know, and that I'm learning more and more in my day-to-day life: there is healing and safety in the true Word of the Lord. "Solution" means "it's ok, it's all gone, it's all over, forget it," and wounds like this cannot be "ok'd" away. What I want (and what I need) is healing--to acknowledge that damage has been done and that the hurt can be, in fact, healed.
  • Nehemiah, in the midst of his labor for the City of Jerusalem, prayed to the Lord and asked him to remember his persecutors.
  • Paul, in the midst of his lesson about how creation groans for the sons of God to be revealed, reminded us Christians that all things do (actually do!) work together for our good, if we belong to the Lord Jesus.
  • Hagar, the slave of Sarah who was used for her master's and mistress's gain, and who was rejected along with her son--God came to her and reminded her that He is The God Who Sees.
  • And the Psalmist, though his life so often sucked, praised the Lord that all the hairs on his head were counted. All the hairs on my head are counted, too. The Lord knows mundane details like that--how much more he knows this situation, too!

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