Monday, April 24, 2006

joyful sorrows?

The last twice I've been at Meeting in Wellington Ministry has been given on sorrows and joys, how joy and abundance can often be found amid barrenness and worry, how sometimes the same event can hold both sadness and gladness and so on.

Both times have spoken deeply to me - two weeks ago because some of what was being ministered about included me altho' my joys and sorrows around the same event were different from those spoken about, and this Sunday because the concept of something beautiful and rewarding coming out of a heartwrenching situation rang many bells.

Having just been at YF Camp, and with so many of us from Camp being at Meeting on Sunday it was hardly surprising that my thoughts were led back to that event, and to other Quaker events over the years. An amazing number of those special moments, the ones that really bring people together, the times where you go from being strangers to lifelong friends within 24hrs, the deep sharing and sense of being held in love so so often are the ones that come from pain, from sorrow, from grief and loss.

Be it 'girlie chats' or deep philosophical and theological discussions they are often rooted in uncertainty, a need for comfort, reassurance, to know you aren't alone working through a problem. When asked within the youthworker course about 'highlights' from events I'd been at all the images that came to mind included tears and pain, but also the wonderful connectedness to those very dear to me at the time and in some cases still. It was knowing that even when you feel like you've hit the bottom of your own resources emotionally, physically and/or mentally that there is someone there (usually with tissues, a shoulder to cry on and a big hug - and if you are really lucky chocolate too!). Many of them were also Meetings for Worship, epilogues or creative listening/worship sharing sessions where pain was shared and there was a deep sense of the group 'holding each other in the light'.

The most emotionally difficult and painful thing I've had to deal with over the last few months has brought me such an abundance of loving support that far outweighs it. It has led, indirectly, to one of the closest friendships I can ever hope for - which in itself grew to where it is because of the others sense of being lost and needing help to find the way back on track; it has given me a 'Wellington mum' and has massively contributed towards the closeness I have with all those who to me are 'whanau' here both in Wellington and beyond. It has been worth every tear shed, every bit of sleep lost - no matter how much it hurt at the time. The sadness hasn't gone and the situation has yet to be resolved but that pain has been soothed away - now I just wish I could be in four places at once instead!

1 comment:

Julian said...

My feelings exactly.