Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How do YOU do "Grief Work"?

My degree is in psychology. One of the things they have discovered over the years is that we NEED to fully grieve the various losses we encounter in life. Stopping it up is not the way to health. "Stuffing it" ends up costing us dearly. Aggressive outbursts only provide temporary relief.

Psychology has set up a way to thoroughly work through your grief. It does not make it go away. But it does bring you back to emotional health.

David had his own way of doing "grief work." I imagine this psalm was written the night after this incident took place...

1 Samuel 30:1 "Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. 2 They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.

3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, 4 they wept until they could weep no more. 5 David’s two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, were among those captured. 6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God."

I think that night, perhaps in the wee hours of the morning, David grabbed a fragment of parchment and wrote this down...

Psalm 6
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument.[a]

1 "O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your rage.
2 Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 I am sick at heart.
How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

4 Return, O Lord, and rescue me.
Save me because of your unfailing love.
5 For the dead do not remember you.
Who can praise you from the grave?[b]

6 I am worn out from sobbing.
All night I flood my bed with weeping,
drenching it with my tears.
7 My vision is blurred by grief;
my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

8 Go away, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord will answer my prayer.
10 May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
May they suddenly turn back in shame."

How do YOU do grief work?

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