August 9, 2015
John 6:35, 41-51
Ephesians 4:25--5:2
2 Sam 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
Psalm 130

When Grief is Unresolved
Proper 14 | OT 19

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Keith Wagner
"When Grief is Unresolved" by Keith Wagner

When Grief is Unresolved
by Keith Wagner
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33

Absalom rebelled against God due to his sinful acts. Although his father, David, wasn’t perfect he grieved over the loss of his son. Unfortunately life for our children does not always turn out the way we hope. Try as we do to nurture and raise them they make choices that lead them down a different path. At some point we cease being parents and that is a difficult role to let go of.

King David was a great and successful King of Israel.  Under his leadership Israel enjoyed security and growth.  But as a parent his life did not bode well.  Absalom was in exile for two years, until eventually David allowed him to return.  But the two of them never reconciled. Absalom was a powerful soldier and born leader. But he, like all of us was vulnerable.  He found himself suspended between life and death, as he hung helplessly from an Oak tree. Shortly thereafter he was killed by Joab and ten of his men. When David learned of his son’s death he said he was wish he could have died in his place.

In his book, “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People,” Rabbi Kushner said that he had to get over being angry at God when his son died. Anger is one of the stages of grief, according to Elizabeth Kubler Ross, that we go through when we have lost a loved one. It’s okay to be angry but it’s not okay to stay angry. Unresolved anger does not build up the body of Christ.

Thankfully I have never lost a child. I did however lose both of my parents within a three week period. First, my mother died of a massive heart attack followed by my father, who died of colon cancer. It was overwhelming grief. Like most everyone I worked through the stages of grieving but I got stuck on the last stage of “unresolved grief.”... >>Click here for the full installment.

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