My father is a musician. I grew up surrounded by music, both within and outside of the home. Music was the language of my life; as familiar as the English language, as present as human emotion. The ultimate outing in my family was a concert. We went to hear brass bands, choirs, orchestras, quartets, and soloists on a regular basis. One of my favorite childhood memories is attending the Philadelphia Orchestra with my Dad at eight years old. I can still taste the experience.
One of my favorite things about music is pauses. The larger the ensemble, the more powerful the pause. I love when the whole orchestra stops together, pulling back time like an arrow waiting to be shot out. When all the players pause together, no one dares to cough, talk, or even breath. Suddenly, the whole room is breathing together, waiting to breathe again. In that moment, everyone is a musician in the grand ensemble of life. The silence works hard and fast, it is a lively and eager gatherer. It gathers all the energy in the room into itself. There, in its brief stillness, it transforms the whole room's focus into feed for the next bloom of sound. When that sound comes, it pierces that silent air with beauty. One may cry. The power of a pause!
This summer I feel called to pause. In particular, I feel that my writing needs to exit the public space for a time and crawl back into a space of solitude. I wonder if there is a larger writing project for me to pursue. I need to stop and listen for its' direction. Writing is like catching a train at times, one must pay attention and jump off the platform when the door opens. Off the platform. In general, I have an unusual sense these days that I need to surrender my whole life again to Christ, no strings attached, to be a friend to Him that is found clenching nothing but His Majesty.
Grab a pen: Are you considering stopping something in your life? What is keeping you from doing it?
Today is Ruby Joy’s birthday. She would’ve been twelve years old. If you don’t know her story, Ruby is my daughter who passed away from a genetic disease at nearly three years of age. I wrote her story in my book, Ruby Joy: Finding Gems in Darkness.
Grief days take over my emotional state long by the date puts two feet on the ground. I trigger while the date is still approaching, not realizing where the sadness, weariness, irritability and the drained sense of purpose is stemming from. When the date comes, it strikes. It hits like lightning determined to burn through the same spot a thousand times. Time holds memories, even subconsciously. Grief days are mysterious and yet real, terrible and yet beautiful. The gift of deconstruction always extends the offer of leaving us with a deeper authentic self where love can live and not hide.
This birthday I find myself wondering when she will come home. I am waiting, aching, hoping that this loss will repent. No dose of reality, which I generally submit to, can convince the amputated part of my heart that the answer is never. There must be a way.
From one friend to another, I am not the only person with grief days. You have them too. Perhaps different topics, but quite as real. I suggest that when they come, you let grief have its way with you. Submit to its work. It is present to take the very real love in your heart and give it a voice so that it does not crystalize into a painful form forever. We grieve because we love.
Mining for gems.
One day at a time.
Grab a pen: Is there a loss you are experiencing? I invite you to make space for grief today, inviting Jesus to meet you there. He makes all things beautiful. That’s a promise.
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.