Friday, November 26, 2010

the empty spot at the table

I’ve written about it before, the dull ache that grips my heart right before Thanksgiving and doesn’t let up until January 1. There’s something about the holidays that accentuates grief and loss.

Some years are better than others. Ramona Glory’s presence ushers in profound joy, but even little sweet pea can’t fill the empty place at the table.

And she wasn’t meant to . . .

I’ve come to embrace the ache as a gift; to see the empty spot as a reminder that we are truly just pilgrims passing through. Jonah’s place will remain vacant until we are all gathered together at the Lamb’s wedding feast.

My heart goes out to those who will face those empty places for the first time this year. The gatherings, the traditions, the music, the gifts . . . will all feel like nails in the coffin of the loved ones lost. The wild grief eventually subsides, the weeping stops . . . but the ache will remain until our pilgrimage ends.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Rev. 21:4