From grief to glory
May 17, 2023
For the women in this story, the experience of moving from the depth of loss to the fulfillment of promise happened before lunchtime. In the early hours of that first day, they went from the weighty grief of seeing Jesus’s body gone to an encounter with the dazzling ones who reminded them of Jesus’s words, coaxing them out of pain into possibility. The trajectory of transformation for them was swift. On that first morning of the week, at the first light of dawn, they went from death to life in minutes.
For those they told, the circle of Jesus’s friends, apostles, and family, the journey from grief to glory was slower and required a few more stops along the way. Most rejected the report of the women. Sometimes grief acts as a guardian, incarcerating the heart from hoping beyond the pain. Sometimes the head protects the heart from considering the new and impossible, to prevent it from further damage or hurt. Grief can grip and hold on for a long time. It takes the time it needs, sometimes awaiting further evidence or experience.
Getting from grief to glory, from loss to hope, and from death to life has no single path. There is not a one-size-fits-all correct way but rather several varying paths to navigate and travel on the journey. And as with all aspects of soul work, once grief moves to glory, it is not complete or accomplished but tends to cycle again. Resurrection is not a one-time event. Glory is not a singular experience.
The curious thing about grief is that even when its heaviness is lifted, even when its energy shifts and hope and light reveal a new way, there remains a longing, grateful ache for that which is gone. Glory doesn’t eliminate grief. Glory transforms it.
When gratitude is felt in the deep sorrow of grief, the healing, hope-filled mystery of glory moves in us. We are being resurrected. Fast or slow: the pace is the pace. The time is the time it takes. Getting from grief to glory is holy work. Be gentle with yourself and the ways God is resurrecting you.
As you sit in the light of resurrection on this 39th day of Easter, held in the hope of life conquering death, spend time in prayer reflecting on the experiences of your journeys in grieving. Notice how they were each unique, depending upon the specifics of the loss and the sorrows of the heart, yet shared common touchstones along the way. When has glory and hope been swift in receiving? When was it a slower experience? How did gratefulness show up as a “dazzling one,” an angel who reminded you of love shared and spoken, awakening hope?
Prayer: Gracious God, help me trust the holy timing of your healing and life-giving presence in my life and in our world. Resurrection takes the time that it takes. Give me patience, gentleness, and wisdom on the journey. Amen. Alleluia.