Today was the day. I was going to return to church, that place offering solace and support, reassurance and community.
Since the day Adam was diagnosed I have darkened the threshold at my church only a handful of times. At first it was because I didn’t have the energy to do so; worry had depleted me. Then, I dreaded the faces of those who wanted to care for me; I needed to hide. I knew that I’d cry great wracking sobs if I showed up, and I really didn’t need the attention that would command. Since then, a combination of all those things has kept me away. To concentrate on God for a whole hour, in public, was more than my spirit could bear. To face a building full of people who cared deeply for our family would overwhelm me with gratitude and grief, resulting in the despised tears that great emotion brings. Not to mention seeing the plaque with Adam’s name in the columbarium.
So guess where I sit on this day, *the* day. In my chair in the living room, immobile. With morning’s first light I knew I wouldn’t go. I knew last night when I turned off the lamp, and apologized to God for my continuing cowardice. I got up this morning in plenty of time to get ready to go, so it wasn’t laziness. Cowardice. So I pledged to spend time with my daily devotional and to work in the yard, which brings me peace and a spiritual connection–God’s wonderful creation and all.
Coffee cup in hand I settled down to watch Sunday Morning. I always learn something from that show. The very first piece was on human resilience. Really? My ears are open, God. The reporter profiled two women who had bounced back from physical and emotional injury, and then talked to a couple of “experts” about the subject. A great factor in human resilience? A large support community. Thank you friends; you have helped me survive. The piece was far too short, in my opinion.
During the commercial I opened an email from a blog I follow, that of a widower who lives near me. He always updates on Sunday morning, and today’s entry was about how he has survived, grown, learned, and is now able to offer help to others after his wife’s death.
Good morning, God. Thanks for talking to me today, and thanks for understanding that it’s not that I wanted to ignore you by not going to church, but rather that I still need to hide from that particular caring group of friends whose presence will make me cry.
Reading my friend’s blog put me in mind of the Psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God.” I googled it. My reward was a most excellent essay on the verse. I commend that article to you. I’ve printed it and saved it in my Notes so that I can access it via whichever electronic device is at hand.
So today I have three links for you. If Christian spirituality is not your thing, I hope you’ll at least look at the first two links.