In our minds, we have an idea or picture of the way things ought to be.
When I come out to my parents they will show unconditional love for me.
When I meet the right person, I will finally feel whole.
When I speak out on white supremacy, people will see the truth.
When I call out this conspiracy theory, people will stop believing such lies.
After the election…after the vaccine…after the New Year…things will be better.
So there are our ideas of the way things should be.
And then there’s the reality of what actually is.
The space in-between those two things is called Loss. There is so often a gap between what we had hoped for and what we got instead.
It’s crucial to trace the lines of that gap—to actually name it and define it—because if we can’t name our Loss, we can’t grieve it. And if we don’t grieve our loss, then we become stuck in cynicism, bitterness, or apathy.
Yesterday reminded us that we have a lot to grieve. Big massive, gaping chasms between what we hope for (“a place where justice will make its home”, 2 Peter 3:13) and what we have (a MAGA mob attempting insurrection, draped in crosses and “Jesus Saves” attire).
I know we’re all ready for solutions and action and someone to tell us what needs to be done. Because obviously just sitting around and being sad isn’t going to fix anything.
But, friends, I’m not telling you to sit around and be sad. I’m saying this:
- Define your Loss, the gap between what you hoped for and what is.
- Name your Grief, the disappointment, anger, or frustration you feel today
- Allow your Grief to become Fuel for what you do next.