In church yesterday, I heard a quote that brought tears to my eyes.
Crying in church is not really new for me, of course. Heck, crying in Target is not new for me.
But I was surprised at how even now, how quickly and instantly, I can go from being filled with an indescribable contentment and joy to wondering why I didn't put more tissues in my purse— just.like.that.
The quote was from author Edgar N. Jackson and went, "Grief is the silent, knife-like terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day, when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there."
Wow. Yep. One hundred times a day.
The context of this quote was being used as our pastor talked about the relationship between Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi.
How Naomi had once been known to be so sweet, so pleasant and so happy...but after suffering so much tragedy, losing her husband and both sons, how the grief had changed her...redefined her.
She was bitter.
She didn't want people to think she was happy or sweet any more because she was grief-stricken.
She changed her name.
Naomi, pleasant and sweet, wanted to be called Mara, bitter.
I looked a bit more into the Hebrew meaning of the word Mara. Not only does it mean bitter, but it often is contextually used with strength...as in, though grief made her bitter, it also gave her a different level of strength.
Yeah. I know that feeling.
The purpose of the sermon was to talk about how Ruth, her daughter-in-law, who lost pretty much the same in that she lost her husband and her dreams of a family, told Naomi that she would go where Naomi went and live as Naomi lived. This was as Naomi was doing her best to push everyone away and just hermit up in her alone-ness. (Sound familiar?)
In essence, Ruth, even in spite of her own grief, loved Naomi enough to support her and to minister to her grief-stricken heart. Ruth was not going to let her be alone. Not going to let her hermit herself up.
Not going to let her heart ache without sharing the weight.
While listening to all of this, I got lost thinking about how differently the days after Matthew died could have been.
How blessed I was, and still am, that so many people enveloped us in that same love and support.
Every friend who called or texted or emailed or left a kind comment on the blog or facebook...every friend who brought or met me for lunch or coffee because they were bound and determined to not let me feel alone, even if that's what I wanted most.
The body of Christ in action.
I try to express my gratitude for everything I can as much as I can.
I just don't know that I can possibly express the gratitude for those who rallied and rally around us.
For nearly 4 years.
Four years ago tomorrow, I got the most amazing and unbelievable news I think I have ever gotten.
I was pregnant.
I don't think anyone can possibly imagine how life-changing that news is when one gets it, until she actually gets it.
But for us, and for those who support and love us, I don't think we still, to this day, realize how that news still changes my life.
Like a silent knife a hundred times a day? Yes.
But with a grateful heart.
Every gesture, big and small...priceless to us and our hearts.
Grateful. Grateful. Grateful.