All Souls – A light for my path

Audio    Service order

Our experience of grief often feels something akin to wading uphill through mud,  every step an effort, the rucksack weighing us down,  the path ahead obscured by fog, darkness and nameless obstacles.

The weight we carry lies heavy in our arms,

It feels ironic because this weight is in fact an absence, an empty space,

How is it that the absence of something,  someone feels so heavy?

Its oppressive, this absence, this space,  the silence and the emptiness,

As we walk on though, slowly we notice that the path feel easier, its not such hard work. Our load, that heavy space, feels less oppressive and a little lighter.

Little by little, we’re putting down our load, the heaviness we carry,

But we’re not leaving our grief behind, or failing to acknowledge it, we’re building on it..

As we walk on, and start to let go, we create our path ahead, from the weights we lay down,

Not only is our walk easier, the path feels more solid,

Our experiences  our emotions,  when we allow these to teach us, give us a more solid ground to walk on once more.

Bereavement and grief can feel like the world has been ripped from underneath us, nothing feels solid and reliable any more. Those same experiences are used to re make the path beneath our feet.

The lives and example of those whom we mourn also help us as we renegotiate our path through life – a new route, a new road, but built on what has gone before, the example, the experience, the love we’ve had shown to us,

As we walk this new path, letting go of things as we do, we may not know where it leads us.

Each step is unknown, we tentatively put our foot down, hoping its in the right place,

It is here that God’s light is needed to  light our path,

The Psalm tells us “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”

The light of Gods word illuminates our way, step by step. Not miles ahead often, rather like driving with dipped headlights, but enough light to be safe, to take each day as it comes.

There’s more to this though,

In the Gospel of John, he says “ in the beginning was the Word… “

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”

Jesus is the Living Word of God.  It is he who lights our steps and our path. Not from above in some celestial spotlight way, but because he walks with us,

Jesus became Flesh and dwelt among us…

He walks with us now because he walked through life

And grief

And pain

He walked through death and out the otherside

So that we might know his light and his life and his  hope as we walk the path before us,

One step at a time, more solid and better lit with every day.



2 Responses to “All Souls – A light for my path”

  1. This picture of the heavy burden and carrying it along the road and then God’s Light walking with us is very very profound and helpful. Thank you for sharing it. Not least because of my own journey of deep grief and depression but because of the book I am now writing about it as well. ( All Saints season is now very precious, a positive reminder of those who have gone ahead and who also light our pathway.

  2. Thank you for this incredibly helpful thought, as well as the Kate Rusby link.

    I am finding that as I start ordination training I am slowly becoming closer to my Mother. She died 16 years ago, having worked hard through our diocesan structures for the ordination of women, but who was also a rather dominating figure in my life and our marriage up until her death. Her death gave me the freedom to journey on my own path. It’s just I’m rather surprised to find myself following the path that she actually helped to clear!

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