A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Lament for Wesley

Why?!  Why is the question on a lot of our hearts right now as we are reeling from the news.  Our friend and fellow-dancer Wesley Brown was shot and killed Saturday night.  It was stupid.  It was senseless.

Why?!  Our hearts are broken.  We are holding Kelly and Madeline close in our hearts, wishing for time to see them and hug them and be with them.

Why?!  Earlier this summer I wrote an article on the work of grieving; on the necessity of allowing that work to occur in us.  It is essential that we allow grief to wash over us when it comes and simply be with it.  Grief and grieving are cleansing and educational.  Mostly, grieving—especially at this point—is simply there, not to be ignored or set aside.
As an aspect of our grieving, we can allow our faith to spill over into doubt, into questioning.  Without doubt, we never get around to asking the difficult questions of God, of ourselves. 

Why?!  I find myself asking that age-old question of God: "Why, God, did you allow this to happen?  Why?!"
While in the grip of doubt, letting our anger out is cleansing.  There are safe ways of doing so, such as  journaling, praying, swinging a wiffle bat against a pillow or a sofa.  Even screaming at God!  God can take it.  I know I am angry with, of all things, Wesley's employers.  I'm angry that he had to work instead of come to Cumberland—where he would have been instead of in that store Saturday night!  I'm angry that a gang decided to retaliate in an outbreak of violence which spilled over and ended Wesley's life.

Grief and anger exist together in a tangled mess so many times.  This tangled mess could very well be the reason this "senseless" violence broke out to begin with—what were the members of this gang grieving? 

 And, yes, I am angry with God.  Very angry.  My private conversations with God over the last 48 hours have been filled with angry tears and demands to know, to understand.

Yet, as I have moved with my grief, the question has shifted.  Shifted to how.

How, God, am I to be with this?  I have faith that Wesley is in a better place right now, is resting and healing in the light of God.  Yet, his family – a young daughter and his beloved wife – are HERE without him.

How can I be of comfort and support to his family?
This is a healthy movement our souls can take in response to our grief.  Yet, even this healthy movement does not resolve the deep sadness and the ache of loss in my heart.  Only time will do so.

May the grace of God go with Wesley's family and friends through the coming days and weeks.
Grace does abound.

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