We are now in the Lenten season where Christians celebrate 40 days (not including Sundays) before Easter. The spiritual exercise returns us to the story of Jesus in the desert during the 40 days of temptation (Matthew 4).
This past weekend our worship gathering chatted about loss.
Take a look at this graph.
It seems when it comes to life, and the driving forces in our lives, namely the economy, ‘up and to the right’ is the name of the game. If your economy, business, bank account, is up and to the right, then you’re winning.
When that trend is on the decline, look out.
We’re not built to accept loss. If the economy is losing we get economic angst. When the economy is bad we try to solve it to ‘be good’ and increase. Even in our lives we can’t dwell on loss. People have a tough time processing loss, particularly in a self-sufficient individualistic culture such as ours.
Be it loss of a job, or more something more deep, a loss of a loved one, loss feels unnatural.
With every loss we also try to make sense of it. We search for purpose and answers to the ‘why’ bad things happen. Sometimes it makes sense. We go through trials and eventually come out stronger. Hindsight provides us a chance to see the good that emerges from our struggles.
But what happens when there is no good?
What happens when loss is just that–loss.
Can we really make sense of every loss? Can we really turn every negative into a positive?
Or is there a place where losing is simply that–loss–and that’s the end of it?
This isn’t to say that staying in a stupor of loss is healthy. But sometimes loss doesn’t have a solution. Like the book of Job in the Bible where Job faces every form of loss less his own life, is surrounded by his friends trying to offer sense and reason to his trial, yet concludes his loss just ‘is’.
In this Lenten season reflect back on a tough loss in your life.
Maybe there’s no silver lining, and maybe that’s just fine.