When we think about mourning, it is often our own grieving that we name. We weep terrible tears over losing moms, dads, spouses, children, grandchildren, and friends. We grieve for strangers whose plights hurt our hearts.
What are we, God’s children, called to do and be as we accompany the slowly dying? We are called to love them so deeply that our hearts break. We are compelled to be there with them. We are called to tell them, over and over, that we love them. We are called to serve them in whatever way they tell us is helpful. We are called to sit quietly by their sides, praying and being. And we are called to give them space when they ask for it. We are called to follow their lead on this crucial journey.
How can we do this? We can do this with God’s arms wrapped around us–the grieving ones–loving us, strengthening us and weeping with us. We can do this because God calls us to love beyond our heartbreak and into God’s will.
This message is an excerpt from “Family matters: When grief is slow” by Susie Gamelin in the October 2019 issue of Gather magazine. Today we celebrate the annunciation of Our Lord with these readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; Psalm 45; Psalm 40:5-10 (alternate); Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38.