Author: dailypax

Hope-filled Grief

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the with trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thes 4:16-18

Paraphrased: “You will see your loved one again and you will be reunited forever, Christ himself will come again. And HE will make this so.”

I was comforted, again, by this truth today at the Requiem Mass for a great lady, Catherine Wilcox. The priest, encouraged us, “Mourn and grieve, yes, but not as the world grieves.”

Christian grief is filled with hope, the aspect of mourning that eludes the world. Ours is not a wishful hope, but a certain anticipation of the fulfillment of a promise. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Make us Glad

“Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.” Psalm 90:15-16

Always we have the hope that our sorrows will come to an end. The blessing of time passing. The psalmist asks that his children see God’s power. Times are difficult, but our children are watching. If we believe the things we know about God, he will redeem our affliction and allow our children to see the glory of His power.

Our responsibility is simply to be obedient and step our feet in the paths that we KNOW we must take. A difficult task? Not, if we anticipate God will redeem our suffering.

Lost Desires

There was a time when Christians desired eternity, perhaps because life around them was awful. Full of uncertainties, injustices, illness, hunger and disease.

Through modern technology we have erased most of these issues – and so, we have ceased to long for wholeness, the beauty of a ‘glorified’ being.

We’ve traded-in our hopes and accepted a counterfeit of life.

In exchange for a longing to return to God, we’ve become satisfied with a transient substitute – believing the lie that the things we can see, acquire and consume will satisfy, and they don’t.

We no longer anticipate the beauty that God desires to give us.


I pleaded …

“Don’t take her Lord, we need her. Without her who will teach us about you?”

“You will, and you will teach others too.”

And so – I was commissioned to a ministry borne out of my sadness.
Called while alone and broken.
Not as one would assume … after healing and training.

Sent into a mission field I was already standing in.
No new language to learn, nor a foreign culture to understand.
Simply to “Put on Christ” and abandon myself to a new direction.

Eyes would turn to me now, a simple brown-eyed girl, an obedient child.

A ministry of words, ideas and nuances could be crafted.
A life lived with little meaning was now endowed with eternal meaning.
Reluctant and untrained I accepted the call.

Thus began the retelling of “His Story” through my story.

The Feast of All Souls

Yesterday was All Saints Day – a day set aside to remember saints who walked before us, to learn from their examples, and to be encouraged by the strength given them.

Today we gather, mourning their death, contemplating our own. The church alive with symbols of life and resurrection – stark in contrast to the black vestments of the priest.

Against warm wood paneling, a frame then a picture emerges. Shimmering candles – both flame and brass, warm sunlight pouring in through smoky windows, dancing off the polished furnishing and pure white fabric on the altar.

Flowers, still adorning, vibrant washes of deep blues, oranges, reds and violets amid the back drop of expected green clippings of life. Their stems, strong, soaking up water – providing life and substance to a fragile structure of leaves and petals.

The priest enters – shrouded in black vestments; the fabric textureless, stiff. Underneath the common white dress-like priestly garment – girded up with thin strips of black, designed to hold the vestment in place yet constraining him as tendrils of death. Although unseen in our own lives they linger around us each.

The paradox is heavy. I sit in this tension of life and death. The past behind me, fixed – no longer flowing – the future, not guaranteed. The only moment I have is before me, a saint in the making, living in the thin space where eternity touches my world.

the Weight of Devastation

I couldn’t believe what I was saying, to actually give voice to the awful things happening. The words drifted from my lips as if someone else was talking. They floated around me then mingled with the dry summer air. As I spoke I felt the vibrancy of life leave me –

I became heavy. My body slumped and I was unable to move. laying down on the ground I could feel the dry summer grass prickly underneath me. My body yearned to dry up and fade into the dirt – to simply disappear. The knots of anxiety – too much for my heart to hold had now dissipated into numbness – then deep heaviness.

This heaviness overtook me, as if my muscles refused to hold me upright. The ground beneath me, my only comfort. Sorrow pushing heavy down on me, no desire left in me to push back. I lay still on the flat hard surface of the Earth.

My body yearning for what it knows, the cold, dark clay of its origin.

“From Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return.”

Yet in that heaviness a small spark of something in me whispered,

“Yes, but in glory you will rise from that dust to eternal life. Get up. This is not the end. Rejoice in your sorrow, rejoice. God is near to care for you and your girl.”

The promise of love, of salvation and resurrection call me and lingered.

Powerless and empty, another strength enlivened me, and I got up.

Physical Weakness

For a while longer I live in this body of weak flesh and bones.
I struggle and moan.
Not to be free of this it, my earthly tent,
but for my body to be brought to its end.
Not to die, but to get rid of the mortal part,
the part that breaks, gets tired and is weak.
My body longs for its fulfillment ~God has already given me the Spiritual part of
this glorified body …
I simply wait now for the completion his promise,
to make all things new.  



The hollow feeling of seeing her move from me into the world.
A world where I am not really welcome. Nor do I need to be.
A world where my presence screams of her need for help —
My feet stay, but my heart tears apart, as half goes with her.

The same breeze that flips up her hair, enlivening her with freedom,
encircles me
stopping time
emphasizing my isolation

Yet, God is good. And at this moment her independence reminds me of this fact. And so, I am thankful.

All Saint’s Dream

I haven’t had a dream of my mother in over 10 years – but she appeared to me last night in a quick dream. I don’ t remember much, it was more feelings and warmth – light, all sensory input without words. I remember her coming full in front of me – her face to mine. She looked fully into my face, her eyes looking straight into mine. She smiled, large and wide. No words, no message; just her open face, full of color and life. Warm colors and smells all around her. She was young and healthy, not a wrinkle nor gray hair. Soft locks of warm brown hair fell around her face – and her eyes – smiling. There was a whirl of motion, flowers and butterflies all around her – the movement so fresh and infused with life.

In all my other dreams we don’t make eye contact and she is always busy doing something else. Raking leaves or sitting at a switchboard – this dream consisted of nothing but eye contact and her face … she wasn’t doing anything just looking at me … what a blessing.

Squandered Grace

Always present, it goes before me and follows after
Unappreciated, taken for granted
Filling in the holes that carelessness created
Always a part of life, like breathing air
Sailing through rough times to emerge unscathed
Disregarding the needs of those placed outside the gate
Thinking only of ego, of growing self-esteem
Blossoming into beauty valued by the world
Lines begin to blur, lines of Honor, Trust, Principle
All mix together to form a convenient familiarity
Complacency becomes the new system, it’s easier
My way, My rules, My life
Decisions made too quickly
Standards … some lowered, some abandoned
The unpardonable sin

Boundaries snapped back into painful focus

Always present, it goes before me and follows after
Desired, held precious, sought after
Always a part of life, like breathing air
Sailing through rough times to emerge strengthened
Regarding the needs of those placed outside the gate
Thinking only of others, of heavenly esteem
Renewed now the beauty once created to become
Lines drawn again, anew, lines of Honor, Trust, Principle
All mix together to form a cohesive, obedient familiarity
Complacency extricated from the vocabulary
His way, His rules, His life
Decisions never made quickly
Standards … never again lowered, never again abandoned
The unpardonable sin, forgiven
Boundaries, freedom is found in perfect service
And love, never keeping back love