December 22, 2008
I Wonder as I Wander ~ The Blue Christmas Journey
the journey of Christ. From His Mother's arms, as represented by the shrine of Our Lady of Einsiedeln just behind me to the Altar and the institution of the Eucharist, His Crucifixion and resurection and being lifted up as King of the Nations (the mural on the vault of the Nave of the church) The Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, St Meinrad's Archabbey, St Meinrad IN
Vague...vagueness emptiness dried up... those are good words to describe how you must feel while dealing with long term greif Pamela, the Chaplain at St Mary's hospital while leading a "Blue Christmas" workshop...
I went to our Church's Blue Christmas celebration on the 21st. Many Churches have this and I think its a great event and always go. This date is intentionally selected for this event as it is the darkest day of the year, for many people this is the darkest time of the year. A time that brings back memories both joyful and troubling. so rather than just pretending that everything is happy happy, its good to be able to come together with others that are struggling with the same feelings as you are. That Christmas isnt the light and bright time that the TV shows would make it out to be, but its hard for most people to keep Christmas the way they think it should be kept. For the Lonely lost , berieved and discouraged Christmas and all of the Holly Jolly can be a nightmare, with ever sight every smell a reminder of the lost loved one, the horrible Christmas's past, and the coming day with not a thing light and bright about it
We have had a number of deaths in the church recently ... some after long and painfull illness others quite suddenly. Many people have lost their retirement savings and dont know how they are going to survive. My situation is a touch unusual, but never the less a friend that lost her beloved husband a few weeks ago said that I too am a widow. My "husband" or my hope of having one in truth, died 13 years ago, and the man I am legaly contracted to is still breathing. What has died is the hope that anything will ever change. She burried her grief, mine is still walking around a living reminder of failure and personal grief and loss.
There were three widows, myself and our pastor there as well as the facilitator, a woman that I love so much, I wish that our paths would cross more often. The "workshop portion was pretty intense. the widows has losses to cry over... and our poor pastor has had a load to bear that has worried me for weeks and every fear I had for him was confirmed... you cant hold the hand of the dying then the living as you are presiding over the funeral 6-7 times since the start of Advent and not be affected. That sort of ministry bleeds you of inner resouces, and if you dont get a chance to recharge can do real damage to your spirit. He is so tired...It scared me...
Perhaps I was the least emotional of the 6 of us but only because the well is so dry I cant get much out anymore. I cried nearly every day while I was in Louisville. i wrote prodigiously and had good counsel. Leading worship was cathartic and I know that helps me. I tried I think in vain to describe my grief... Mark in Louisville told me that there seemed to be no sort of grief that I have not experienced. Dead parents , a dead child divorce dead dreams...suicides, abuse neglect and abandonment emotionally and physically. There is no person of significance that has not emotionally abandoned me at point of need.
I feel empty, lost confused and drained out. This year while I loved my time away and just living...I also lost my dreams, my strength of will is gone and I will need to figure out what God wants me to do.
Every one managed to get some of the pain out. We told our stories and cried more...
We ate together and talked about lighter topics then We had a service of readings and songs, Pastor David even played a John Michael Talbot tune, "On Eagles Wings" that I know well. but the one that got me was the theme of the evening
I Wonder as I Wander
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor lonely people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King
(Words & Music John Jacob Niles)
Pastor David earlier in the day told me that he was praying for me as I journied thought the "wilderness of maybe" I am trying to live totally in the moment. One moment to the next and not trying to get ahead of God...I wonder as I wander... not sure of what the next thing will be only that God is with me...
Labels: Faith, IN, John Michael Talbot, Louisville