Updated: Jun 28, 2022
Grief is not linear.
Grief never really goes away... It bubbles beneath the surface and erupts forth without warning. Just when you think you have everything under control it can be triggered by the slightest thing - a song, a smell, a photo, a flash of memory.
It grabs your gut. Catches your breath. Tears leak without permission.
I don't cry “pretty and dainty” like in the movies - with little hiccups, sniffs, and squeaks.
I'm not sure anyone does - when they are really hurting.
When my son died this past summer it left a void. An open, black, yawning void.
A broken heart. A wrenched mind. An aching gut. And a very Ugly Cry.
The kind of Ugly Cry that forces you to your knees, mouth open, face red. A Very. Ugly. Cry.
Where is God in the Ugly Cry?
David wasn't afraid to cry out to God and ask for His presence. Ask for relief from the grief. David knew there was a hope and a rescue with God if he remained faithful and trusted that God had a plan, an escape, a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes I forget that God is with me - in everything. Even grief.
Psalm 42 describes David calling out to God, remembering the times God was faithful in deliverance. David describes his soul longing for God (v1), his soul thirsting for God (v2), his tears being his food (v3), while friends questioned "Where is your God?". David is downcast, mourning, and bones suffering mortal agony (v10).
Twice David cries "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my saviour and my God". (v5 and v11).
It is put here twice to get our attention. Hope. Praise.
Where is God in the deepest pit of grief?
He is with you.
He is holding you, rocking you, comforting you, wiping your tears, and crying with you.
He feels your pain and it breaks His heart, too.
And, like David, God will give you a new song in your heart - maybe not right away, but eventually, you can raise your head and look up into the loving eyes of Jesus to see
He is crying with you. He loves you. He hurts with you. He longs to comfort you.
Healing is the hope of Jesus, who rescues you and I from the depths of despair and gives us a new song of praise. Praise draws us closer to God. By praising God in the Ugly Cry it brings hope to the hurting heart and starts to heal the cracks of the soul.
So go ahead and cry. Make it an Ugly Cry....get it all out. Pour out your grief. Then let God comfort you, hold you, hug you. Give you hope. Then praise Him for all he has done and all He will do because He loves you, beautiful one.
Kathleen Knapp - January 2021