Daily Riches: Grieving and the Vast Emptiness of Loss (James Baldwin, C. S. Lewis, Richard Rohr, John Green, Henri Nouwen)

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” James Baldwin

“For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats.  …how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, ‘I never realized my loss till this moment’? The same leg is cut off time after time.” C. S. Lewis

“‘All great thought springs from a conflict between two eventual insights: (1) The wound which we find at the heart of everything is finally incurable, (2) Yet we are necessarily and still driven to try!’ [Hans Urs von Balthasar] Selah. Our largely unsuccessful efforts of the first half of life are themselves the training ground for all virtue and growth in holiness. This wound at the heart of life shows itself in many ways, but your holding and “suffering” of this tragic wound, your persistent but failed attempts to heal it, and your final surrender to it, will ironically make you into a wise and holy person. It will make you patient, loving, hopeful, expansive, faithful, and compassionate—which is precisely second-half-of-life wisdom.” Richard Rohr

“We all want to do something to mitigate the pain of loss or to turn grief into something positive, to find a silver lining in the clouds. But I believe there is real value in just standing there, being still, being sad.” John Green

“Just as bread needs to be broken in order to be given, so, too, do our lives.”  Henri Nouwen

“… unless a grain of wheat
falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies,
it bears much fruit.”
Jesus in John 12:24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Our sense of loss grows over time as we experience a loss “time after time.” Have you suffered like that?
  • Have you quit trying to understand your loss, heal it – or find its “silver lining?” Have you allowed yourself to feel it rather than flee from it?
  • Why might someone “need to be broken” by what feels like “unprecedented” heartbreak? Can you trust God to work in the space created by your loss – with no explanation and slow healing – but bringing life out of death?

Abba, meet me in my losses.

For More:  A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”