Grieving – releasing deep pain

By Dave Henning / June 23, 2023

“The Bible calls the practice of grieving lamenting.  And I love the practice-based element to lament because grieving is more than an idea.  It’s an embodied way of expressing and releasing our deep pain. . . .  Lament, in particular, is a way of expressing our grief to God, while knowing we are held.”- Aundi Kolber

“Let the glove, if nothing else, say this is true: / That even as we grieved, we grew.”- Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb

Aundi Kolber concludes Chapter 7 of Strong Like Water as she talks about when grieving grows us.  Rather than put a nice, tidy bow on our story, it heartens us to know that Jesus was deeply connected to grief.  Above all, this heartens us beyond words and brings us great courage.

In addition, our Creator holds us as we learn to grieve.  Thus, Aundi reflects on an observation by Henri Nouwen in his book The Return of the Prodigal Son (1994).  Aundi states:

“Henri Nouwen’s observation that ‘I am beginning to see that much of praying is grieving’ strikes me differently now.  If God calls us to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV), could it be that as we learn to abide and exist within God, He is constantly holding us as we feel and pray?  It seems to me that Nouwen had identified an element of true strength: When God holds us in our pain, we have access to an abundant reserve that allows us to be fully human. . . .

God is with us.  God does hold us, even when we don’t know it.  Even when we can’t hold on to God, God holds on to us.”

In conclusion, Aundi invites us to see grief as a core part of becoming strong like water.  Because when we possess the ability to feel, we can also heal.  Grief provides that sacred space where we allow our pain to be tended and honored.

Today’s question: Do you see grieving as an embodied way of expressing and releasing your deep pain?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A stress cycle – playing out”

About the author

Dave Henning

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