“Tired, hungry, and sad.” This is what I texted to my husband when I arrived home after service on the Sunday following Pat Drew’s sudden passing. Jorge was downtown, and it was the first moment I had to myself, completely alone, all week. And so, I crashed into the couch and cried, both with relief from getting through the services that morning, and with grief over the sudden loss of a dear member of the music department. 

But why must we make such an effort to conceal our emotions? When we received early news about Pat last Saturday afternoon, I was in Baltimore helping a friend move into her first house. I was shocked and distraught but said nothing; kept on as if nothing had happened, even though I was surrounded by people who are practically family. And I definitely had to keep it together on a three-hour train ride full of strangers! 

As Christians, are we not expected to care for one another and treat others as we would like to be treated? But it’s a two-way street, and we must be willing to be vulnerable to receive the love and care that we require. In my previous devotionals I’ve asked us to live into the uncomfortable space of both advent and lent, and here again I ask you to tear down the barriers that have been put up and really experience the grief you bear. Not just for Pat, but for all the losses you’ve felt. How else can you heal? 

Death is inevitable, and our best response is a robust outpouring of love, care and support when the call comes and being willing to accept that love.  

“Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you? 
Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.” 
 – The Servant Song by Richard Gillard