Give sorrow words

"Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speakWhispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break."  (William Shakespeare, in Macbeth)

I'm still thinking about grief this morning.  About the beauty of the commemoration services this past weekend, about how loss and pain were honored.

I've been thinking, too, about loss and pain that doesn't get commemorated or honored.  Sorrows never gifted with words, griefs unspoken.

I work an awful lot with losses like that.  They show up in the office like addiction, anger-management issues, broken relationships, juvenile delinquency, bad boundaries, anxiety and depression, major mental illness.  Underneath the presenting problem, there's almost always some grief that does not speak.

Psalm 56:8 says "You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle."  I was poking around in online commentaries about this verse, and apparently in the ancient middle east, it was the custom when you went to mourn with someone, to actually collect some of their tears in a bottle and keep them as a reminder of your friend's grief.  The more I think about that, the more I think it's kind of creepy.  One of those customs that doesn't translate well across cultural boundaries.

But I do like the idea that God keeps track of ALL our sorrows, and collects ALL our tears.  Not just the big ones that make the TV news and call for a national day of remembrance.  ALL.

Whatever your grief is today, it matters.

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