grief. learn lessons

Why We Should Linger with Loss and Grief

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]It was a beautiful summer day, full of joy and peace until sorrow invaded like a conquering army. The tragedy was devastating, and I wept as I adjusted the ropes that held the flag and eased it down the pole. I stood back and saluted, hesitated to leave because of the grief represented by the lowered station, still shaken by the news of yet another devastating horror.

I can’t remember why the flag was at half-staff, but I remember the day I lowered it. The act of recognition lingers in my memory, but I’ve forgotten the grief. If I wrote about it at the time, I can’t find it now. My sorrow has vanished like dew on a summer morning.

Do we all process a national tragedy in such a briefly intense way? Does it fade from consciousness so quickly for everyone except those personally affected?

In 2016, we lowered the flag as we grieved Brussels, Orlando, Dallas, Nice, Baton Rouge. In 2017, it was lowered after Las Vegas and Southerland Springs. We didn’t lower the flag for every national or world tragedy in either year, yet the details of even those few are only vague memories now.

Lingering with Loss

It’s no wonder we fail to learn from the past. We don’t hold it long enough to make it a part of us. We don’t remember it long enough to process it, much less glean a lesson for the future from it.

Instead, we post a “pray for…” on social media, light a candle, say a prayer, and move on to the next big news. Processing grief and passion should lead to heart-expanding memory. Those memories should change us as we go forward.

What happened to lingering with loss? What happened to caring enough to allow growth in us, and letting our concern cause us to work for change in society?

We’re great at bearing one another’s burdens for a moment or two, a day or two, but do we go the distance? Do we shoulder a load and carry it with our friends, our nation, our world until the burden is resolved and the sorrow is healed?

We all do it.

Lest you think I’m making accusations, let me be candid. I’m talking about myself. I’m as guilty as anyone.

Last night, I cleaned out a drawer and found a rubber bracelet made as a reminder about the persecuted church. I’ve had it for years, and it’s been in that drawer almost the entire time. I was deeply concerned about believers suffering for the cause of Christ when I received the bracelet, but I wore it only a day or two. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I took it off because it didn’t look cute with my outfit. I never put it back on.

I held the bracelet, still in a pristine state, and wept. It was a shocking reminder of how quickly my own concerns fade. I wonder…what if I’d remained as passionate about the persecuted church as I was the day I ordered the bracelet?

Would people I love be fleeing for their lives if I’d remained involved? If I’d stood stronger for the cause of Christ? If I’d prayed more?

Wearing a bracelet doesn’t change the course of history, but the passion represented by wearing it might. If we allowed the reminder on our arm to drive us to true intercession, it would make a difference, not just in us but likely in the world around us.

Allow grief to change us for more than a moment

Today, let’s take a few minutes to allow memory to flood our hearts and minds. About what issues have we been passionate? Whose grief moved us? How did we allow our grief and concern to change us? What did we do about it? Have we shouldered burdens all the way to the end, or left friends and family members dangling in their sorrow? Is there a cause about which we need to make a stand?

Let’s resolve to take a stand about something that matters and pray it through. 

We can make a difference, but not if we do nothing.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” Hebews 10:24 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This blog post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link to make a purchase, I may make a small amount of money (usually a few cents) from your purchase. It will not increase the price you pay in any way.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your time with me today! I’ve glad you stopped by. If you enjoyed this content, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, sign up for the twice-monthly mailing list (below) to be notified about my future blog posts, or click here to get a 5-day free Bible study and the twice-monthly newsletter.

Before you leave, would you mind taking a moment to pin to Pinterest and share on social media? It helps extend my digital reach in ways I can’t do myself. Thanks again! See you soon.

Want to read more? Here are links to a few other posts:

Will We Make Room for God in Our Lives?

How to Trust God in Hard Times

Repentance: It’s Not Optional

On Being Beloved

What Happened to the Power of Our Faith, 21st century Church?

Life, Lipstick, and Leaving a Legacy that Lasts

School Shooting: Stop Blaming and Start Helping[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Here’s an in-depth, life-changing digital Bible study to help you grow in your Christian faith:

(This is an Amazon affiliate link, which means I might make a few cents from your purchase but it will not change the price you pay)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]Linger with loss
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Want to know more about Leanna Hollis and her ministry of prayer and outreach? Click here to find the latest ministry newsletters

Scroll down to sign up for her blog/writing newsletter. It also includes links to current ministry newsletters.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.