Monthly Archives: January 2019

Holding Space

Today I sat with someone who had experienced a devastating death in their family.  It isn’t my story to tell, but I had a few thoughts about it that I think are okay for me to share.

My hubby and I were just talking Sunday, before we knew of this friend’s loss, about food and how we take it to people when there is a death.  We often hear how this or that culture shows their love through food, but honestly, I think all cultures do.  Food is so central to life that it is the first thing that comes to mind when there is joy or sorrow.  My hubby pointed out how often the person who is grieving is not at all interested in food, but it is what we do, food is made, a plate is given, again and again no matter if the person has an appetite or not.

It’s what we know, it is at the core of our beings.

And suddenly, a few hours after this conversation, I was in that place of saying, “I want to bring a meal for them” when I found out about a loss.  In my offer, I found myself sitting with this family as they grieved today.  Turns out, in this particular culture, friends and family bring meals for three days and sit with the bereaved.  So I went with two other friends and brought my paultry offering of a casserole and brownies.  We ate, talked and just were, we held space.

I particularly just held space. I don’t understand the language of those I was with very much and I understand even less of the particular dialect of the mourners.  So I sat.

Today was day three, so the official time of sitting with the family is completed.  Grieving of course with not stop, really not for a lifetime, but for these three days, people came, people sat.  People held space for those who had lost someone they loved so very much.

Next time someone you know experiences a death in their family or circle of friends, pause, sit, hold space with them.  They will never forget it and you will be forever changed.

 

Not Just Words

It is incredible how much we say in a day…print media, broadcast media, social media…it is all focussed on one thing–what we have to say.

Do we mean what we say or are they just words?

When Caitlyn was little and learning how to say words, she picked up the phrase oh my gosh.  We as a family do not say oh my G-d, to borrow a way of writing it from a friend because even typing that phrase hurts me.  We believe using the name of God in this phrase goes against scripture where it says in the old testament, Exodus 20, verse 7, among others, you shall not take the Lord thy God’s name in vain.  So as a weak substitute, we say oh my gosh, but in her young speech you couldn’t really hear the distinction, so we banned the phrase altogether.

Time has passed and we have let oh my gosh slip back into our speech…and as I write this, I realize we need to change that.  God, my Heavenly Father, deserves more than just changing a d to a sh.

We’ve been working on this a bit anyway as Sue talks so fast it is almost impossible to hear if she is say d or sh.

Well, that wasn’t what I meant to write about…

Anyway, in a conversation with a friend tonight, I said, “I’ve been praying about it.”  And I wondered if she knows that I have been or might that sound like just words.

They aren’t just words to me.  Ever.  But especially not right now.

I have always loved to pray.  Since I was a little girl.  I believe in prayer.  I know God hears us.  And I know He answers according to His will.  For decades, I have known the Lord has a strong desire on me to pray.  But prayer is daunting.  How do I start?  How do I keep my mind from wandering?  How do I not fall asleep?  Will any of my prayers get answered?

Years ago, I read a book, Intercessory Prayer,  by Dutch Sheets. * Parts of it I found outside of the teaching I have heard in the church, but none of it evil, so I reread the book recently.  And then another of his, and another.  Now I have branched into other authors.  And actually spent time praying.  I love it just as much as I have always said I do.  There is a connection with God that is comforting and challenging.  A desire to see if that close feeling continues if I keep praying or if it is a passing fancy.  I find it to be consistently, over the years, always feeling like I am home, where I belong when I pray.

So, next time you talk to me or read me say that I am praying for you or that situation, rest assured it is true, very, very true.

*Please note I just found this website as I was writing this post.  I have not studied it and including it here is not stating that I agree with his ministry 100%.  As I read, I will decide that, but I thought it was worthwhile to include this link.