Tuesday, February 20, 2007


One definition of the word is someone who breathes into the phone receiver.
Another one is a small vent to allow moisture to escape.
The third one is the one I want to write about today.

"A period of easiness between the hard."

Ever feel like you're experiencing the old saying, "When it rains, it pours"? Oh, yeah. Sometimes nothing seems to go right.

I was bemoaning life in general the other day to hubby. Why this, and why that? Looked like something wonderful was happening, but when the total information was found out, it was less than the best situation. (Grit teeth here, enduring!)

Why can't the "breathers" be the two on the ends, and the hard times in the middle? Why is it there's so much aggravation and not nearly enough good?

Or is there?

Maybe it's our discontentment, our warped sense of justice that colors everything "wrong." Maybe if we'd focus on our blessings, or what's good comes from the bad, the bad wouldn't seem to outweigh the good many times.

Maybe the silver lining is silver and is there--if we'd only look. Maybe the pot of gold is out the end of our rainbows, if we'd just have the fortitude to go after it. Is it too easy to see the bad and not the good?

The Oregon climbers came out of a bad situation okay. They did all the right things. The frozen oranges in some states can be squeezed into juice. Not a total loss. Perhaps the early death of a loved one kept him from something more horrible if he/she had lived. What did poor ole Job think when he lost everything? Did he whine, endure his "friends" comments with poor or good grace? Would I have acted a lie if I'd been facing an angry monarch as Abraham did about his wife? Or would I have been as brave as Daniel and his conrads when facing persecution? Am I a wimp? A coward? A whiner? A lazy, self-blinded person who doesn't look for the gold threads among the dark?

Will I continue to get discouraged if I don't have the encouragement I want (and need) with my writing? Can I persevere enough to reach my goals? Will the sandwiched good comments be enough to hold me between the troublesome "No's?" Through the uninterest or the plateaus of my writing?

We'll see.

Many times we see others who suffer. It's hard to know what to say, and many times I feel my words mean nothing. Here are some ideas of what not to say or do (at least from my experience):

1) "It'll be all right." Not to those who've just lost a loved one.

2) To those who've lost a child or a baby: "You have so-and-so." Another child cannot take the place of the lost one.

3) Information about the tragedy that is not asked for or sought after or brought up by the grieving one first.

4) Trying to restrain the sufferer from his/her grieving. Don't cry. Don't wail. Don't do this or that. Let them. They need to know they're not doing something wrong by doing whatever to get past the initial shock. They have to vent. Let them. Agree with them.

5) Don't take at face value anything that's said in during their first initial shock of receiving the news or reacting to it. Most likely, they don't mean it. Some people have to blame someone or something (not that that makes it right) for the hurt they're feeling. Give them time.

6) Listen, listen, listen. That's the most comforting thing you can do.

And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
-- Fra Giovanni


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