Thursday, November 18, 2010

Friday's Faith - The Day the Earth Stood Still

Friday's Faith

The Day the Earth Stood Still

In reading a devotional from Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman (a devotional book that has been very therapeutic for me overall) this past Saturday, I read the following:

It is important, when dealing with all aspects of grief, to keep the process moving. The temptation is to freeze, to stay perpetually recoiled against so terrible a blow.

It is almost a physical sensation, especially if death has come suddenly and unexpectedly--almost a sense of having the wind knocked out of you. And even if death has been a long time in coming, there is an impulse to dig in one's feet at the moment of death. It is our last experience of our loved one and we want to hold on, keep the immediacy of that memory from growing dim.

That's all right for a while. But the danger is that we will get stuck there...

The devotional goes on, then ends with...

Wherever he or she is, it is certainly not "back there." Bit by bit, we need to loosen our hold on a past we cannot keep and get on with the life we have.

~Martha Whitmore Hickman

This ending to the devotional felt a little cold to me, so I decided to process it through in a poem, in the way that would be more comfortable to me.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Did I "dig in my feet" the day you died,

Too startled to move at so great a shock?

Otherwise could I --with your death-- have complied?

For "fight, flight, or freeze," my life went on lock.

My baby girl gone the rest of my life,

That is too gross a looting to conceive ~

"Normal" life systems shut down, went on strike ~

Conserved all energies needed to grieve.

Was that ~for me~ "the day the earth stood still"?

The children I gave life to were my life,

So how do I live when one child is killed?

My hopes, dreams, investment in you, all stilled...

I go on living, but can I call that "life"?

I am "healing" though my heart's shot out!

God soothes me with love, holds me by His side.

I know your spirit lives, for that I can shout!

I still feel you near, you're right by my side...

He gives me work to do; with that I've complied,

Still investing in life...on th' other Side!

And I would change the last line of Martha's devotional to...

Bit by bit, we need to climb into the new reality of our child's life ~ she is not forever at that crash site ~ she is in the arms of her Lord.

She is no longer injured, frightened, and insecure. She is at peace ~immeasurable peace~ and unharmed. Her battle scars are only reminders for her of where her Savior, her Great Physician, healed her with His tender and loving touch, melting away the fear and trauma, restoring her sweet spirit with the ointment of His tears. She is at peace. She is alive. She is aware. She is "with" me again, unhindered by sin, unhindered by distance, unhindered by human limitation, ever nurtured in God.

Healing After Loss, November 13 devotional, by Martha Whitmore Hickman (1994)
Poem - The Day the Earth Stood Still - Angie Bennett Prince - 11/13/10


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