In last week’s letter I mentioned spiritual practices that ground and keep us in these unprecedented times. Today, I offer one of mine: Call to Mind.
I found this little gem in the middle of a small book with some very big feelings, the book of Lamentations.
The whole book is one loud outpouring of grief, as God’s people face wave upon wave of unrelenting sorrow and loss.
It’s a tough read, but it’s given me an important practice because smack dab in the middle of the grief the writer makes a pivotal move. He calls something to mind. Calls it to come – as if it weren’t there – as if it had run off and left him and was no longer within his reach. He calls something to mind, listen in:
“My soul has been cast far away from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
So I say,‘My strength has perished
And so has my hope and expectation from the Lord.’
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
(here it is, friend!…)
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his tender compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.”
Call to mind. Did you hear it?
It’s like when your dog gets away from you and you whistle and bend down low and pat your leg while calling its name to come and be by you and with you and companion you once more. You’re calling him to come.
That’s what I picture when I hear the writer’s words in Lamentations calling something to mind, to come and companion him once more. Something that had gotten away from him for one reason or another. Something like hope.
It’s not lost on me that the writer remembered well the affliction, pain and suffering. They needed no call to accompany him. But he bent down low and called other companions close: love, compassion, mercy, and the faithfulness of God.
Can you see them run to him like a beloved pet? Full out speed, ears flapping, tail wagging, jumping into his arms and licking his face? Yes!!
Call to mind: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What is accompanying you?
- What has left you?
- What do you need to call to mind?
- Follow Paul’s example in Philippians 4:8 (Message Translation)
- Call to mind, “the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
- Go on a daily ‘treasure hunt’ for the above and find a way to document / share what you find.
- Our song of the week is: Remember by Lauren Daigle.
- Follow Isaiah’s example (chapter 63:7 Message Translation)
- “Make a list of God’s gracious dealings, all the things God has done that need praising. All the generous bounties of God, His great goodness … compassion lavished, love extravagant.”
Friend, in the midst of pain we are invited to cry out, cry loud and cry long to God, to pour it on out. Please do – really! But let’s not stop there. I pray we catch our breath and call once more. Call out to those things that cause hope & comfort, joy, strength, peace, & love to come bounding back to our side once more.
Grief (sorrow, confusion, loss, or frustration) don’t have to be our only companions. We can call another to be by our side. The grief may not leave. This isn’t either/or, it is both/and. What will you call to come and accompany you alongside the hard?