Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. ~ Romans 12:15 (NIV)
Nothing will make others wriggle like situations or times where you personally experience some form of grief. Perhaps it is our human instinct to fight for survival that makes us so avoidant of anything related to loss. We feel horrible for the person grieving and for ourselves. Words escape us. Remedies to the situation confound us. We wish we could offer the perfect thing to make the pain go away, but it hangs like an ugly, persistent odor in the air. Is it any wonder we fail to deal with grief in ourselves appropriately at times, and often lack compassion when addressing it in others?
Nevertheless, grief is a relentless emotional process that will fester, boil over and/or continue to wound unless we deal with it. Putting on a happy face and stuffing feelings will only make the inevitable to pop out at inappropriate times or in inappropriate ways. Denial only breeds dysfunction, while compassion and cleansing tears bring healing.
As you can see, processing grief, in both ourselves and those we minister to may be incredibly uncomfortable, but absolutely necessary. For this reason, we are devoting our #SpnMin Chat this Thursday night to that important topic. Author, Jolene Philo, addresses the topic of grief in both of her fabulous releases A Different Dream for My Child and Different Dream Parenting with such insight and sensitivity that she is well-regarded by her colleagues on the topic. Jolene will share her gentle wisdom as the chat’s featured guest discussing the grief accompanying diagnosis, loss of dreams and suffering as well as the death of a child.
Meanwhile, I would like to suggest two solid resources to check out. First, Joni and Friends lists over 100 links to their resources on grief. From radio transcripts and rebroadcasts, to blog posts, free insights and spiritual guidance are available at the click of a mouse. Second, I am told by several others that you don’t want to miss the book by classic Christian author, CS Lewis, A Grief Observed. In it, Lewis shares the experience of his own tragedy, causing him to put his words into actions when it comes to faith in the midst of terrible grief.
Explore this topic with us further, Thursday, March 15, at 8 PM, CST. If you have never participated in a TweetChat before, merely follow these instructions:
First, you must have an established Twitter account. If you don’t already have one, simply go to http://www.twitter.com and set a free account. When participating in the chat for the first time, click on the following link: http://tweetchat.com/room/spnmin.
You will be prompted through an easy three-step process.
When you click “Sign In”, you will then be asked to “Authorize an Application” through your Twitter account. To attend, you will have to click the blue “Authorize App” button.
Once you have done so, merely type in the name of the chat (hashtag) you wish to attend at the top of the page, and click go. For our chat, type in spnmin. Now you’re in the chat room! But you’re not finished yet.
To keep most current with the conversation, go to the upper left hand side of the screen and click on “Refresh Speed”. Slide the tab down to 5 seconds. This will keep you up-to-date with the scrolling conversation. Remember, just like on Twitter, you are limited to only so many spaces for your comments…in this case 132 characters. You don’t have to add the #spnmin hashtag after every post. TweetChat adds the hashtag automatically.
We hope to see you there!