Acquainted with Grief

Grief-Stages-Van-Gogh-Painting-Depressed-Man-233x300The wonderful JBL recently mentioned to me the benefits of pastors being Acquainted With Grief.

I have clergy friends who have lost parents at a young age.  They’ve lost children and siblings and best friends and spouses.   If I may be so bold, I believe that the best pastors are those who are indeed acquainted with grief.  We who have lost The Most Important People In Our Lives are not “lucky” but we have access to something powerful and holy.  We have said goodbye to people we didn’t think we could live without.  It continues to be a daily slog.

This is not something we can aspire to have.  But those of us who have experienced the loss of someone  – or several someones –  who have left a tremendous gap, are better pastors for it.  We are automatically in a club no one wants to join.  But it makes us better pastors.

This post is dedicated to my friends who’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, lost parents to cancer, have children with cancer.  You know who you are.

Image is Depressed Man by Van Gogh.

3 responses to “Acquainted with Grief

  1. Name withheld by request

    Having a child with cancer was one of the heaviest experiences of grief I have ever known – until I had an adult child who chose to separate herself and her child from us with no explanation. That grief has been even harder to handle. And you are so right – being in such situations heightens one’s sensitivity to others. I have sought others to pastor me who have been on the same journey, because they understand, and they hurt as deeply as I do.


  2. Amen, Jan Amen.


  3. Daily slog is a good description.

    I would have been a perfectly good pastor otherwise. I don’t know anyone who has lost a child who thinks that any alleged resulting benefits counteract the cost.


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