Our first IVF cycle recently failed and we have received an abundance of well-wishes from family and friends. We just got a care package filled with fruit. Someone who knows Kylie well.
One of our coworkers with The Crossroad sent us a very brief email to let us know he was with us in our valley.
The email made me think about the Servant Leadership tools, the heart of our Crossroad material, and the benefit it has been for our family.
In this season of mourning, this valley, this pit of despair, just having those terms to describe our current reality has been extremely helpful. The language and, more importantly, the mental models give us a shorthand to be able to communicate something very difficult. Something that could otherwise be enigmatic and cause a strain in our marriage has helped to bind it together instead.
We have a devotional series on the Biblical character Job and how he found a way to worship in the midst of tragedy. And the reality of this opportunity, more than anything else, is the great shift in perception our involvement with this work has brought about.
To Weep or To Worship
Before we came to the Crossroad, I would have had a hard time really reconciling weeping and worship. To be honest, I still do. It feels so mutually exclusive. I might have said you get through the weeping to get to the worship.
That is not what happens to Job.
Job does not worship because his circumstances have improved or, even, because there is any real indication they will improve. Job worships in spite of his circumstances.
While we are navigating this difficult season, worship is not something that asks us to put aside the weeping. And mourning honestly does not require us to leave worship at the door.
The two actually operate together. Hand in hand. Like dance partners.
Worship, after all, is an acknowledgement we are not in control. It is an acknowledgement of trust in the one who is. Weeping could be described in much the same way. It is a sorrow in my lack of comprehension. Kylie and I will often say to one another, “I just don’t understand this.”
I am not God. Which is, to a very real degree, sorrowful. Because if I were, things would certainly be different. It is also, to a very real degree, a cause for gratitude. For, if I were God, things would be less than they are. Less good, less real, less true. Whether that makes sense or not is just further indication of how true it is.
So, in this season, we are doing our best to hold these two things – weeping and worship – in tandem with one another. To be honest about both. To express both fully and genuinely. And, to realize, there is a certain amount of mourning required for worship. This circumstance just highlights that eternal reality in a clear and, perhaps, harsh way.