Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent 3.2 - Patience and Fearlessness

"Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord."

James 5:7

When I read this text, I thought, Patience? Seriously, Patience?

We have no choice, not if we are in a time of loss.

And then I thought about how, in the first months after a death, we are impatient because we are afraid. Because everything is affected and most of it falls apart. Finances. Legal concerns. Property. Not to mention your concerns for all the other members of your family ~ especially if the death has been from suicide, which you fear others will now see as an option.

You name it; there's a problem.

A couple of nights ago I went to a Survivors of Suicide meeting, primarily to hand out flyers for our Blue Christmas service. But there were two sets of family members there, representing an elderly woman and a young man, each lost to suicide in October. "And you just can't believe it," offered one person. "It isn't enough that you're grieving such a terrible death. Within a matter of days you're hit with all of these other difficulties!"

And so I've been thinking about this text, and about how real patience requires fearlessness.

I'm not sure where I first encountered this song, but we heard it this past January at a funeral mass for another young person, a high school freshman who had died very suddenly. My husband had coached her soccer team for five years, so he had watched her grow from an eight-year-old girl into a lovely young woman.

And now, I have several friends who are mothers of children who have died in the past two or three years. We are all working on patience and courage. Not because we want to, but because we have no choice.

And I play this one very frequently for myself, and send it to my friends.


Purple said...

Patience requires fearlessness.

Three words and yet powerful in the ways they play on each other.

thank you for your wisdom!

Michelle said...

This was sung the Sunday after Tom's funeral. I showed up to lector (I was on the schedule, and was in the mode where I ran on pure momentum, showing up for the next thing that appeared on my calendar because I couldn't marshal the energy to rearrange anything). Everytime I hear it/sing it I think of sitting on the side of the altar and wondering how I might get through the barren desert, would I ever have the courage to mourn?

Patience and fearlessness were required.

Magdalene6127 said...

I have been thinking about this issue-- the intersection of patience and pain. I have known this song for many, many years-- since childhood, really. It is powerful.