I have discovered that I don't really know how to the answer the question "How are you?" I don't really know how I am. I guess I am okay. I think I may be fine. Okay, I am not really that okay or fine. Right now I just am. And that is about all I can tell you.
Yes, grief and loss is a very odd thing to deal with. There are times that I say I am okay, but then I realized just how scattered I really am. It is hard to concentrate on much of anything right now. Today I picked up one of my "old favorite" devotional books... "Psalms Now". And I turned to Psalm 56. I love the way it reads in this version....
"Even as I groan in complaint, O Lord, I know that this is your course for me. Truly O God I have nothing to lose, for it is in losing that I truly find that which is of everlasting value.
You are aware of my frustrations, my feelings of emptiness, and loneliness, You have promised to replenish my vessel, to make me a channel of your everlasting springs. I am in debt, O Lord, to suffering humanity around me.
I must be emptied again and again only to be filled from your boundless resources and then to pour out once more your blessings upon those who need.
You have delivered me from the wasteland of need. Therefore I dedicate myself anew to the task of channeling your gifts to the parched lives of others."
I especially like the bolded part. Jesus knows my frustrations, my emptiness and my loneliness. I needed to remember that this morning. When I can't express how I am doing, I am so glad that I don't have to explain how I am to Jesus. He just knows. And the amazing part of this Psalm reading is that reminder that Jesus is filling me up. Not just so I don't feel empty anymore, but so His presence and power can flow out of me to those around me.
That really puts a different spin on everything doesn't it? I don't have to know how I am right now. I don't have to explain. What I do know is that Jesus is filling me up with his presence and his power and his love, so that I can let that flow out of me to those around me. And we all need to have more of Jesus right now. So if you have asked me "how are you?" and I have given you a puzzled look, I hope you understand a bit better. My new answer to that question is going to be "I am getting filled up with Jesus!"
Jesus, thank you for understanding exactly where I am right now. Thank you for your great love and care. Holy Spirit, thank you for filling me up each and every day. Help us to be patient with ourselves as we walk through this time of grief and help others to understand. Amen