"[There is] a time for mourning, a time for dancing"
~ Ecclesiastes 3:4
Henri Nouwen reminds us that mourning and dancing are never fully separated. Their "times" do not necessarily follow each other. In fact, their "times" may become one "time."
Mourning may turn into dancing and dancing into mourning without showing a clear point where one ends and the other starts.
Many times in reflecting about death, we will remark that the family is "grieving appropriately." It is a remark to say that the family will be fine. Grief is something that we all experience. Some are able to incorporate that grief into life, like a dance.
Often our grief allows us to choreograph our dance while our dance creates the space for our grief.
We lose a beloved friend, and in the midst of our tears we discover an unknown joy. We celebrate a success, and in the midst of the party we feel deep sadness.
Mourning and dancing, grief and laughter, sadness and gladness - they belong together, like a well orchestrated moment that finds us open to tears and laughter.
Let's trust that the beauty of our lives becomes visible where mourning and dancing touch each other.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.