"You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled." 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 (NIV)
Grief must be acknowledged. It is a force so strong in intensity that we cannot afford to ignore it. Those who do not embrace grief and walk its dark road will slowly sink into a poisonous cauldron of apathy, where the heart that felt the pain does everything it can to convince itself that the agony is not as intense as it really is. That heart gets busy doing a million different things, all to thinly veil and stifle what it is too terrified to recognize. Our hearts can deceive us into thinking that we are numb to the pain when nothing could be further from the truth.
One of the most artistically pleasing and inspiring books I have ever read is Ruth Bell Graham's (wife of world-renowned evangelist, Billy Graham) book, Footprints of a Pilgrim. Mrs. Graham has a way of saying all I wish I could say in her simple phrases of poetry. The message in the following lines speaks to the poison of apathy:
I need deliverance from
no stab of joy
no strong regret,
no reaching after,
no black despair,
-- Ruth Bell Graham, Footprints of a Pilgrim, copyright 2001, Word Publishing, A Thomas Nelson Company, Nashville
Jesus, help me not to fall prey to the sleep of apathy, but to stay alert, to embrace today's joys and sorrows. Save me from apathy's poison and its numbness.