OBSERVATIONS of another’s grief prove cathartic, especially when that grief is a cathartic experience. I’m inspired by the faith of a friend who says she hopes, through grief, to grow in empathy, warmth, and genuineness — which is something I believe — that grief has a purpose in our development.
Here’s the premise of this article: if we have doubts about the healing power available in grief that, in itself, proves our faith.
Doubts that we’re being healed, whilst believing we’ll be healed, are the essence of faith.
Doubts that we’re being healed, normal as they are, prove faith, if we keep believing, which is acting. Belief translates into action.
Doubts are bound to occur. But the fact that we keep stepping, believing that God can make good from anything we’re called by life to encounter, propounds our faith.
Traversing grief is as much a task of faith as anything else. Faith underpins courage. Faith tells us humility is the way. Faith allows the complaint, but it keeps stepping anyway.
But traversing grief is not just about faith. It’s about healing; holding to a belief (faith!) that there is a compensation for all we’ve been through.
What I’m holding to — what I attest as my experience of healing through grief — is that there is a softening unto surrender unto a losing of our lives to save them. This has not been a recent learning, however proximal the grief of losing Nathanael has been. (As I write, the actual hour he was stillborn approaches — one year hence.) I learned the precious Presence of God in my first grief — my hardest grief — twelve years ago. I can tell you of the fondness I have for those times, only now as I look back; those times that were harrowing and lonely and cruel. Yet those are the times, where I simply stepped by faith, with no vision of hope, and walked ultimately into healing.
When we step by faith, which means we have no vision of hope, God blesses that faith. It seems pointless at the time, and doubts are not only to be expected; they’re proof of faith — that despite our doubt we’re going to keep stepping by faith, anyway.
By faith we step into healing, and, though healing is a thousand paces off, in faith we know we’re getting there.
Healing is not simply about arriving at the other end of grief feeling ‘normal’ again. Healing is a new normal of greater awareness as an individual of the universe; a child of God. Healing is the grand narrative of the blessedness of faith plied out of a vacuous hope; for faith with hope is no faith at all.
Let me say it again. Doubts are not only normal, they’re proof that we walk by faith.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.