Some of us enter trembling through the door of a new year.
This last year wasn’t so good and our hearts are broken.
What if the next year is worse? How will we manage? Where can we hide from bad news, bad outcomes, disastrous trauma?
Truth is, we can’t.
So here we are, bravely marching in, hanging on to hope and begging God for mercy.
Read the rest here: New Year’s Prayer for Hurting Hearts
Oh, dear one who opened your eyes to the morning light carrying wounds so deep no one can see!
I am so, so sorry.
When things have gone terribly wrong it’s hard to get up and make merry.
Read the rest here: Christmas Morning Prayer for Hurting Hearts
It’s tempting to line up our friends and acquaintances in columns under headings of “perfect family”, “good christian”, “struggling addict” or “hopeless case”.
When I label someone I justify my response-good or bad-and let myself off the hook for sharing the extravagant, unrestrained love God has shown to me.
The longer I live, the more people I meet, the more certain I am that the neat little categories we like to use are not very helpful.
If I decide they are “doing well” then they don’t need my help.
And if I decide they are “beyond hope” then why waste my time or effort?
Either way, I’m wrong.
Christmas is the story of God come down-Emmanuel-of Love reaching down into a dark and lonely world. It was hardly tidy, it was a Messy Christmas
We are surrounded by hurting hearts. When one of them turns to you and bravely holds out her pain, accept it as an offering.
Because it is.
An offering of trust, friendship and vulnerability.
We’ve all been there-we ask a routine question and someone refuses to play the social game.
We say, “How are you?” and they answer honestly instead of with the obligatory, “I’m fine. You?”
Suddenly the encounter has taken an unexpected turn.
“Oh, no! I don’t know what to say,” you think.
It can end badly-both of you walking away uncomfortable and wary.
Read the rest here: How To Respond When Someone Shares Their Pain
I have had my share of pain in life-physical, emotional and psychological.
Some of it I’ve brought on myself and some of it has been thrust upon me.
None of it was pleasant.
But by far the most excruciating pain I have endured is the death of my son.
Read the rest here: Transforming Pain
My son’s death is a point in time for people outside my immediate grief circle. It’s a date on a calendar. There is a period after his name.
But it is an ongoing experience for me and my family.
We don’t only remember on birthdays, holidays and anniversary days, we can never forget.
Yet often others do.
Read the rest here: I’m Sorry
One of the rituals I observe when the time changes and night closes in so very early is to light a candle each evening in the dark.
I’ve done it for years but now as I do it, I think of Dominic.
It is my small way of declaring the truth that darkness will not win.
It’s my protest against despair and hopelessness that threatens to undo me–threatens to undo ALL of us at one time or another.
Read the rest here: Light Bearers and Candle Snuffers
It’s tempting to avoid someone when their world is dark.
It’s uncomfortable to choose to enter their pain. But Jesus has called us to walk beside the suffering, to encourage the disheartened and to lift up the ones who stumble.
There are no magic words to erase heartache.
And isn’t that why Jesus came?
Read the rest here: The Power of Presence
When I was a little girl, I struggled mightily being afraid of the dark.
Sometimes I could barely close my eyes because I was scared something terrible would happen between going to sleep and waking up.
I outgrew that as I grew into my faith.
But after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven, I found myself again afraid to go to sleep.
Read the rest here: Between Sleep and Wake: Speaking Peace To My Heart
I’m pretty sure most everyone older than five has suffered a bump, bruise or sprain that left them tender for more than a few minutes.
And if you have, then you know the slightest brush up against that sore spot can elicit quite the reaction.
There’s an emotional correlate to physical bruising. And when someone hits that nerve it hurts. Really, really hurts!
It’s impossible to know where all those places are on another person’s body, much less their heart. So we often cause accidental pain to one another.
Read the rest here: It’s Kind of Tender Just There