Honoring our grievances = like paying taxes

By Dave Henning / September 11, 2019

” . . . honoring our grievances is much like paying our taxes.  They all come due eventually, and the longer we ignore them or attempt to medicate them with our flailings, the more penalties and interest accrue.”- Shannon Ethridge

In her foreword to Aubrey Sampson’s latest book, The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament, Shannon Ethridge observes that dread and fear attempt to hold us back.  Yet, faith and hope propel us forward.  Also, Shannon posits, perhaps our minds juxtapose the polar opposite nature of ‘dread/fear’ and ‘faith/hope.’  Maybe, she adds, they’ve actually been close relatives all along.

Next, in Chapter 1 (“When Your Game is Changed: An Invitation to Lament and Hope”), Aubrey Sampson notes that suffering is not:

  • an exception, after all
  • a surprise
  • an interruption to an otherwise easy life

Rather, some level of pain and heartache – big or small – touches every person.  If you get to know someone deeply, Aubrey states, you’ll get to know their wounds.

However, an inner voice insists that you need to handle your suffering. And handle it well.  But, your best efforts at ‘perky’ fail to mask your real longing for answers, reasons, and meaning.  Because you want to pretend that none of this is happening, that pretense conflicts and complicates your longing,.  Although you’d like to tie up your pain in a pretty little package, Aubrey writes, your “grief won’t be contained.  Grief won’t stay hidden.  Grief explodes.”

Finally, as the author’s grief therapist astutely comments, suffering presents an invitation.  As a result, suffering offers two choices:

  1. continue to pretend it doesn’t exist – which clearly doesn’t work
  2. accept the offer

But, willingness presents a hurdle.  For we wonder exactly what the invitation means and how difficult it will be to accept.

Today’s question:  How hard do you find honoring your grievances?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The weight of this sad time”

About the author

Dave Henning

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