Hope in Grief: Loving in Hurt

It’s interesting.

So many of us hoped for a new start in 2021… something different than 2020.

In our community, our very near community, it has definitely been different, though not in the way we hoped.

On January 6, John and I watched the news covertly – DC is our semi/upcoming home and it’s not something we want our kids to fear. We wondered how it would end, were in disbelief that it was taking place, and hit our knees in prayer for our nation. Division which became MORE than apparent back in the spring, and extra heavy then, somehow hit even deeper, more disturbing places.

In our grief we cried, “Lord, heal our land.”

Then, on Saturday night while scrolling Facebook, we learned that three young lives were taken in a horrific car accident. We went to sleep hurting for our community… only to wake to find that one of those dear lives was the son of two of our closest friends, our “get together the night we get home from vacation” friends, friends our kids lovingly refer to as Aunt and Uncle (and anxiously await the forbidden juice boxes they tend to show up with during visits 😉 )… the friends that are family in every sense of the word except blood.

This grief was a take your breath away, shocking type of grief that reverberates out from those closest to him, to the entire community. The kind that breaks. The kind that no words, or hugs, or gestures can take away… the kind that means a new – unwanted – future for everyone involved.

And yet… in the past few days, among the tears, the sobs, the hugs that feel like they’re holding others together… there have been glimmers of hope.

Of community members banding together to support families financially, and pray for the survivor, now fighting for his life. Of young men and women walking into the darkest of moments and – somehow – providing grieving mothers and fathers with laughter. Of practical gestures of love surrounding those left with this new future in a figurative blanket of support. Of so much food filling tables that basic necessities can be forgotten while the focus remains where it must.

This is a new dark. A new kind of hurt. There aren’t many words to push through. Sometimes words just aren’t enough.

During this time – starting with the events in our nation on the 6th, and continuing during this time – I’ve found myself playing Cochren & Co’s “One Day” on repeat. At first, it brought me to breaking. But now, I cling to the hope it provides… some of the words:

One day there’ll be no more lives taken too soon
One day there’ll be no more need for a hospital room
One day every tear that falls will be wiped by His hand
We will see the promised land,

Hallelujah, there will be healing
From this heartbreak we’ve been feeling
We’ll sing in the darkest night
‘Cause we know that the light will come
And there will be healing, hallelujah

Beloveds. There is hope in the hurt. Not a promise of better days. Not a promise of life without pain. Not a superficial call to just smile through it, because let’s be honest, in some situations that’s just not possible.

The dark is real. It’s heart-wrenching and all-consuming.

But, there is hope that’s beyond that. And that is what we cling to in the dark, and how we love others in that dark. Our hope simmers beneath it all. Our hope is real. To that, we cling.

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