Hey God. Hey John

Copied from John Roedel by Kenneth Stepp

Me: Hey God.

God: Hey John.

Me: Grief keeps sneaking up on me.

God: That’s because grief is like a ninja.

Me: When will it leave me alone?

God: Hopefully never.

Me: Um. What?!

God: To grieve means that you have loved. Grieving is one of the truest human experiences that you will ever participate in. It often arrives without warning – like a late day summer storm – obscuring the sun and drenching you in a downpour. It’s a gift, isn’t it?

Me: Uh, no.

God: Grab a pen and write the following four things down:

1) Grief can come and go as it pleases. You gave it a key to your house at the exact moment you gave your heart to somebody else.

2) Bereavement is the debt you must pay for having loved. There is no getting over the loss of a beloved who is now resting in the arms of endless love. Grief has no expiration date. Despite the passing of time, the phantom pain of mourning is always one memory away from returning.

3) Of all the emotions you face, grief is the by-far stickiest. It gets all over everything. Like peanut butter, grief sticks to the roof of your soul.

4) grief Is like an

afternoon thunderstorm

in late July.

It’s the storm

that’s always waiting

on the edges

of your most sunny

days to roll

across the horizon

and right over you.

The ghosts of your loved

ones who have died

are the clouds.

The webbed lightning

Illuminating the

dark canvas sky is

their reminder to you

that life is just a

a brilliant temporary flash

of time.

It’s a reminder

to live now.

to be bold.

to be electric.

The pounding rain isn’t your tears.

It’s the hope of eternal life that falls

on you.

It’s that downpour of hope that will

help you grow deep roots in love and faith.

The gale winds

of these storms are

the messages from

those you have

lost to death that

are whispering

to you through the pines

the following psalm:

“It’s okay, my love. Eternity is holding me. Death isn’t an end. Death is a threshold. I’m still here. I never left. Love doesn’t die. Love doesn’t die. I remain. There is no afterlife. There is only life. I’m here with you. Love doesn’t die.”

Me: Okay…great…now I’m crying.

God: I’m proud of your tears of grief.

Me: You are?

God: Yes- because it’s proof that you have loved.

Me: Well, I’ve got all sorts of proof pouring down my face right now…

God: It’s all such an adventure!!

(from the poetry collection “Upon Departure”)