Monday, December 15, 2014


1 Be joyful in the LORD, all you lands;
2 serve the LORD with gladness 
and come before his presence with a song.

3 Know this: the LORD alone is God;
we belong to the LORD, who made us;
we are God’s people and the sheep of  God’s pasture.

4 Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving; 
go into the holy courts with praise;
give thanks and call upon the name of the LORD.

5 For good is the LORD,
whose mercy is everlasting;
and whose mercifulness endures from age to age.
(Psalm 100)

It’s time. Time to begin to discover how to live life again. Memorials have been attended, said, and done. Travel has been made out to the homestead. Family has returned back home. There is a longing for a routine, for a familiar pattern of prayer, work, recreation, and rest. There is a readiness to return to my work of pastoring and caring for a congregation, of doing my part as we head into the throes of one of our busiest seasons. 

By far the first question I am asked after the BIG question of, “How are you doing?”, is the question of “How are you doing this?” Serving in a large congregation, I have entered back into worship on Sundays and today marks my entry back into a full time schedule. To some, it seems incredulous that I have returned just three weeks after Glenn’s death. 

Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be a really good answer to this question of how. All I can say is that it is the Christ in me. My boss has been gracious and his pastoral care, extraordinary. The congregation has been so kind. My coworkers have stepped in and taken on the critical tasks of my job. No one has said, “You must…” 

Psalm 100 provides us with some guidance on what to do…

Verses 1, 2, and 4, contain the words: BE. SERVE. COME. ENTER. GO. GIVE. These offer a way to re-enter into life. 

But sandwiched in between these verses about what to do, there seems to be the answer found in verse 3 that points to how. 

Know this: the LORD alone is God;
we belong to the LORD, who made us;
we are God’s people and the sheep of God’s pasture.

It is this “knowing” that answers the question of how. Knowing that the LORD alone is God. Knowing that we belong to the LORD. Knowing that we are made to be a people set apart and who live in the places set before us.

I’ve been in fellowship with others who have known this for all of my life. All of this time, this “knowing” has become ingrained in who I am. It is the “Christ in me” recognizing the “Christ in you”. 

And now I face one of the hardest things I have ever done…living this truth in the midst of great sorrow and grief, in the midst of feeling as though my world has just come apart, as though everything has been unraveled at the seams. And it occurs to me that everything up until now has been in preparation for the place I am in today. 

Knowing that it is time to begin to live again, time to return to work, time to consider next steps, is an individual process that is different for each of us. In my case, Glenn was sick for a very long time and ever since his first diagnosis of cancer in 2010, I have been grieving losses. For some, the shock of his death started the grieving process, and so I can understand why they ask me how I can step back into life at this time. 

This is not to say that it is always easy. There are moments of panic and fear, moments of tears and sorrow, moments of loss and suffering. My brother Ken calls grief a “rogue wave”, because it sneaks up on us and knocks us down, mostly when we least expect it. 

Knocked down as we are, we come up for air, sputtering, the truth of verse 4 remains. 

Know this…The LORD alone is God and we belong to the LORD. This is how.

...grace and peace...cindy


  1. Grace and Peace be to you Cindy, grace after grace. "for from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.' John 1 16 xx Blessing others through your tears.

  2. Oh, Cindy, this is beautiful. You remain in my prayers.

    Your words remind me that I need to be doing ongoing grief work as a part of my life. With elderly parents and a husband in remission from cancer, this is very present for me.