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I work on not getting upset and into arguments. I’m unlikely to debate publicly (or privately) about masks and conspiracies. I have, however, stood outside a room and talked with a family who were appropriately gowned and had just watched their mother die. I could see their mother, too. And the death certificate will say, appropriately, COVID-19. So that family is grieving. Like many others. Regardless of the arguments, their mom died.
So did mine, back in December. This weekend, we’re taking the Ardis Swanson Memorial Farewell Tour to northern Wisconsin. We’ll spend time remembering Mom on the land where she was born, at a place where her mind and heart always worked best. Here’s her story. (Thank you for your condolences then and since. We’ve been comforted.)
I tell families all the time, “Two things can be true at once. You can hurt and have hope, you can rejoice for them and miss them deeply.” David wrote well about mixed emotions, of grief and confidence in Psalm 13. How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
In my book, “God. We Need You.”, my prayers are not as polished by centuries of practicing. And yet, they give voice to our hearts, or at least mine, in challenging times. I’d love for you to take a look at it and buy it if it looks helpful.