When we grieve, we mourn the loss of something or someone personal, an experience that is both intimate and private.
The author of Psalm 25 names this feeling head-on in verse 16. “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” As blogger and griever Jodi Whitsitt says, “As it turns out, grief lasts longer than sympathy–way longer.”
The loneliness of grief is extended when the mourner perceives that others have moved on. People who once were there with tissues and hugs might not understand why we still need help with the kids and meals, days off from work, and patience.
Psalm 25 may serve two purposes: first, to help grieving people know that they are not alone–the psalmists understand their loneliness; and second, to help those who would comfort the grievers be attentive not just to grief, but to its persistence, and to the loneliness of those who are suffused by grief.
This message is an excerpt from “Session 2 of the Bible study, No hard feelings” by Anna Madsen in the October 2019 issue of Gather magazine.
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