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Lenten Devotional – Day 15 – Desert to Garden

Scripture:  Psalm 119:50

50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
    Your promise preserves my life.

“One morning you’ll wake up and realize you haven’t thought of your father in an entire day and feel incredibly guilty,” my friends said. “And that’s okay.”  We were having dinner after my father passed away, many years ago. I was a bit past 30 at the time and hadn’t experienced much grief – my own or others’. My father was the first person I’d ever really lost and I was sick with grief. This group of friends each had lost a parent at younger ages, and they told me I was part of their club now. Not the happiest club to join, obviously, but the friendship and their counsel helped.

They were right. At first, grief washed over me in waves, when driving, singing a hymn, or shopping.  Gradually I went longer periods without feeling grief. I could more often think of my father (a very smart  and funny man) and remember his silly jokes, his gardening wisdom, and his ability to bring birds to his feeders. The loss was still there, but the overwhelming sadness faded. One morning I did wake up and feel incredible guilt for not grieving constantly. And then I went about my day.

Now, my vegetable and flower gardens filled with flowers, birds, and butterflies are a tribute to my father. He’s still with me. Out of sadness, peace can follow.

Prayer: Faithful God, keep me ever mindful that even in the dry, dark periods, new life is born.

  – Jean Blish Siers – Charlotte, North Carolina


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