Holy Saturday: Pausing for Grief

God, what was it like to take the Holy Pause of Saturday? Did you practice Sabbath while Jesus, your only son, had died?

Did you sit in a comfortable corner and let yourself cry?

Did you practice breathing, slowly, in and out, trying to find ways to regulate once again?

Did you embrace despondency?

Did it feel like the world had stopped? Did you feel slammed by the bad news–even though you knew it was coming? Did you have to sit for a minute to take in the fullness of its meaning?

Did you simply, actually, pause the world for a few so you could keep your rainbow promises?

Did you feel frustrated that after all you had done, and tried, that Jesus died anyway?

Did you take comfort in sitting with the disciples and Mary, and Mary and Martha as they moaned?

Did you make yourself useful, keeping busy helping all the humans who were in pain, so you could better process your own?

Did you just sleep all day, and try to forget the world existed?

Lord God, I have a sneaking suspicion that Saturday is Holy because it legitimizes our pain, our loss, our anger at injustices, our impatience with the waiting for peace, our heartbrokenness with the state of the world, our feeling of helplessness to be of help to anyone or anything.

And yet, You give us permission to take the time to sit with the pain. You give us the space we need to do absolutely nothing (at first) in response to the evil in the world. You do not barge in with good news or toxic positivity. You let resurrection sneak into our hearts, little by little.

Thank you God for this time and space.

Thank you for being a God who fully experiences the range of emotions and reactions we have.

Thank you for being our God and sitting with us.

Let us sit together a little longer………………………………

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

God of Sleep

God of Sleep,

who causes us lay in green pastures,

who knows when I lay down and when I get up.

Sleep is such a luxury.

For some of us it has become elusive

hiding behind anxieties and intrusive thoughts, we can’t snatch any slumber

Our eyes become gritty, the words “I have to sleep now” echo in our head,

but rest seems an impossibility.

For some of us, sleep sucks us in, stealing our existence.

We lie in bed for hours–depressed and feeling like there’s not reason to get up.

We tell ourselves to get up, call ourselves by our full names, and still we are stuck.

God of Sleep–we are emotionally wrung out. Completely exhausted from the toll of this crises. Completely lonely from the necessary isolation.

God of Sleep–help us to find healthy ways to lay down and to get up we pray.

Help us to find ways to cope with the heightened anxiety and/or depression of the today.

Ease my tension, soothe my headaches and heartaches and stomaches.

Give us healthy outlets, we pray.

Amen.

More Pandemic Prayers & Resources

Death by #Suicide, Waiting for Morning

I cry  to you O Lord hear my voice.-Psalm 130:1

In the midst of two very public death by suicide, one female Kate Spade, and one male Anthony Bourdain, both of whom leave beyond tween daughter. I think of all those people who cry out, unheard. I think of the fact that I didn’t know that Kate or Anthony struggled with depression. I think how suicide rates are up 30%, I think of how much we need hope these days.

Let your ears be attentive, to the voice of my pleas

I think about that I sometimes go by Kate and my husband’s name is Anthony. I think of the times both my husband and I struggled with depression, and had to struggle just to get through the day, and how, though not suicidal, and not at the same time, we have both experienced this reality. And even though we were doing everything, seeing therapists and the like, it was so hard to get the help we needed.

And I think of the hard times, I think of when my child with autism has to stay up all night, all night, dealing with days of constipation, and how when that constipation stops, we are up and down to deal with diarrhea. Up in the middle of the night, drinking water, going to the bathroom, changing clothing, cleaning the toilet, up and down, up and down and I can barely think I am so tired. And together my son and I wait for the morning

Starry Night.jpg


6 my soul waits for the Lord
   more than those who watch for the morning,
   more than those who watch for the morning.–Psalm 130:6

I think of those long bleary hours, and I think of Anthony and Kate, who were waiting for the morning, who were stuck  in the night, and couldn’t see the morning.

And I believe, somehow, that God Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, were longing for God, I’m so sad that they died before morning came.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
   For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
   and with him is great power to redeem.
8 It is he who will redeem Israel
   from all its injustices.–Psalm 130 7-8

If you struggle from depression, please stay with us til the morning. We will miss you if your gone. When the night feels too long or overwhelming, please reach out!

US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Test Line by texting HOME to 741741

 

Psalm 130

Why #holyweek? #drwho & #depression

Why Palm Sunday? Why do Christians do this crazy Holy Week thing, where we parade Jesus one week fully knowing he will be betrayed and die.
 
Dr Who’s (possibly best) episode in the reboot is a visit to Vincent Van Gogh who struggles with depression. He and his companion Amelia visit, and spend time with this amazing man who could see beauty amidst the the terror. They return to the present and Amy is convinced he would have lived longer, not died by suicide, and made more paintings. Seemlingly, nothing changed. And yet, it counted, Dr. Who says that the way he sees it (and he has had to struggle with his own darkness and good days). Life is a pile of good things and a pile of bad things. The good things don’t fix the bad things, but the bad things don’t ruin the good things either.And Dr Who says “We definitely added to his pile of good things”
drwhoDrwho2
 
This is not just about Jesus’ resurrection, its about the full scope of humanity.
 
If you map Jesus’ journey he avoided Jerusalem–ping-ponging around Israel. Because he knew his very Being in Jerusalem would cause revolution, because Jesus’ very existence is revolutionary.
 
Ever have the feeling where you just click with someone and you know you are going to be friends? That’s how EVERYBODY felt with Jesus, so when he enters the center of power, the power starts to shift. Because who doesn’t want the person who SEEs you, GETs who you are and what your about, and LOVEs you.
 
Here’s the deal tho….Jesus knows he’s going to die. But whereas I might be cynical or really sad to enter Jerusalem knowing I was going to die, my guess is Jesus accepted it as what it was.
 
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
 
Jesus knows he is going to die, and appreciated it. Because at this moment, at the Hosanna time of the palms, people were good.
 
It was a good thing, and Jesus added it to the pile of good things. Human life is about the good and bad things. This is why we pray about the joys and concerns in our lives. Someone’s joy doesn’t fix someone else’s hurts…but it adds to the good things.
 
I believe that God is in every good thing. I believe that following God is to valiantly look for and add to the good things. Its knowing that especially in the midst of hurt and suffering and oppression, the good things matter. They matter so much, one kind word, one achievement, one moment of child’s laughter–can help you make it through the day.
 
That’s why Palm Sunday–because to be fully human is to embrace the good, to feel and know suffering. I’m sure Jesus had to deal with anxiety and stress, I’m sure he had relationships that didn’t work out the way he wanted them to…I’m sure he saw people hurt and die who he cared about.
 
Why Palm Sunday?
 
Because Jesus knows that suffering is a part of life, but so is joy, beauty and hope.
 
Because Jesus embraces the fact that God is within every-single-day, whether it is good or not (note the verse isn’t this is the good day that the Lord has made). This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.