Grief is often experienced as being 'in the depths'. Sometimes it feels like we have been swallowed up by grief. Our bodies ache. Our minds can't focus. Our hearts feel like they will break.
Our cry for help during times of grief may seem desperate and feeble. We want to believe that God hears us. We want to believe that God is attentive to our pain. But we feel uncertain.
One of the most difficult experiences during seasons of grief is feeling as if our crys for help fall on deaf ears. Like the psalmist, we find ourselves pleading with God to pay attention. God, who may have seemed so present and attentive when our pain was less intense, can seem strangely absent just when we need God most. When we are in the most pain, we are often least able to experience God's loving presence.
This subjective experience of God's inattentiveness can be terrifying. But it can also be the starting point for growing a deeper and more meaningful faith. A faith that has found the courage to honestly face these experiences of God's absence will be a transformed faith. A faith that has survived a season of grief will have experienced the realities of the spiritual life at a much deeper level. From experiences of this kind we can learn to give up simplistic spiritualities. We can learn to pray with more honesty and integrity.
Can you see me, God?
Can you hear me?
I am calling to you for help.
I am overwhelmed with sorrow.
Have mercy on me.
Hear my cry for help.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery