Richard Niebuhr uses the metaphor of a shipwreck to describe those life experiences where what we thought would hold comes apart. A marriage ends, a career collapses, an illness shatters plans, a loved one dies. Pastors and congregations can be a lifeline. Our culture, however, is mourning avoidant—and too often, faith communities reflect the broader culture's misconceptions surrounding grief.
Barbara Crooker enters the shades and brush strokes of daily life with such reverence that readers want to take notice, live better, and die better.
One of the prevailing myths in North America’s mourning-avoidant culture is that within a relatively brief time after a loved one dies, we will want and receive closure. Living in liminal space and profound pain, we yearn to end such grief, to lose the sense that we’re on the bridge to nowhere. After our 25-year-old daughter Krista died while volunteering in Bolivia, as parents we heard the term often.
It has been a season of losses. I've been reminded of the importance of knowing how to respond, and how not to.
At 52 I was lead pastor of a large, vibrant church. Then I was diagnosed with ALS, and I began to call on my faith community in a new way.
On April 13, 2005, Richard Lischer's 33-year-old son, Adam, phoned his dad. The cancer had spread throughout Adam's body.
On Sunday I attended a worship service at which the air was heavy with a sense of loss. But I saw the church being the church at its best.
Holy Week and the art of losing