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Sometimes it’s okay to get alone and cry.

January 8, 2018

7I’ve had a rich, deep Christmas break filled with family and friends and an especially precious time where I can get in a quiet corner and study God’s Word – really, be still and know that He is God.  Oh, it’s been good.

I have dearly loved the quiet. for the good and the bad.  Please let me explain.

Along with the richly enjoyable moments of joy with my dear family and loving God, I have also had some quiet moments in grieving as well.  Even after after all these years.

Yes, the memories of our shattered childhood came back.  Why, I cannot understand, but there it is, popping up and fogging my quiet times with a gray drift that is hard to explain to myself.

It comes back in its full force:

The vivid picture of the group of us elementary age siblings standing in the country kitchen weeping openly while my father gave a half-hearted wave and walked out the door to go live with his mistress.

The aching memory of the poverty following his absence and my mother’s days of grief, wailing openly behind closed doors.

I’m fifty-eight years old, and I occasionally find myself turning aside to grieve.  I cannot explain the stomach-churning recollections to my wife.  I cannot describe the nauseating feeling to my children.  I cannot share the empty gnawing loss or pain.  Many of you know what I am talking about –  it hits you like a rip tide wave you weren’t expecting, washing over you and soaking you.  You are aware of the cold wet and you wait to dry off.

Some of this is good for me.

I have had more than one person gently urge me to “let it go,” but there is something cathartic about getting alone and dealing with it.  Face it; it’s not going to ebb away from me.  It’s more or less how I deal with it whenever it starts swirling about my memory again.

I found something profound in the Scriptures.

“But Deborah Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.” – Genesis 35:8

That last word is a mouthful but it is what I want.
‘Allown Bakuwth is literally “The Oak of Weeping,” a place dedicated to the sorrow in losing someone close to the family of Jacob. We read nothing else of Deborah but we see that she was a much-loved part of Jacob’s clan, and that it was good to make a place to remember the sorrow acquainted with the loss, and to meditate upon the meaning of that sorrow.
In an age that tries to focus only on the entertaining and flippant, this is quite a change.  I believe that the Believers can embrace this change.  Hear me out – this isn’t as nutty as it sounds.
I think that Christians may have their own ‘Allown Bakuwth where they stop and ponder – and weep – over incidents in their lives that have affected them deeply. These memories – though highly emotional – serve as an important part of the Believer
More than once I have stepped into privacy and wept over the loss of my brother Bruce who passed away four years ago.  His memory is sweet.  His antics were hilarious.  His presence is deeply missed.
I have also broken down in the middle of a church service when I recall the loss of our dear pastor Tom Craig to cancer.  When any of his favorite songs are sung, it is all I can do to stop from sobbing.  Even now I am teary eyed.  And yet I do not want to lose this.
My private tree. 
My zone of reflection.  It’s a time where my self-reliance melts away and I cling to God.
It’s an area of weakness where God can embrace me and show me the truth of Philippians 4:7 – the giving of His peace that I can neither explain nor fully understand.
‘Allown Bakuwth is my little personal corner of the universe where I can sit alone and grasp so many things that God wants me to learn.  I think we all benefit from our ‘Allown Bakuwth in order to learn.
Learn how to have compassion for those who have endured similar circumstances.
Learn how to weep with those who weep.
Learn how to hold on to dear memories of lost ones whose lives were precious to us.
Learn how to have victory over those wretched circumstances that would seek to tear us apart and make us useless as Christ-followers.
Learn that Christ had great sorrow and compassion for us.  His love is still a gorgeous mystery to me.
And so many other things.
I must run.  Teacher’s in-service is about to start.



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