As people, we also have our seasons. There are times of new growth, times of maturity, times of letting go, and times just to be fallow and regain our strength. Sometimes, we don’t notice what season that we are in, until things begin to change. At other times, the season seems to drag on forever, like a bitter, dark winter, or a rainy foggy autumn, and we think it will never end.
When my wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we were supported for a year by the brilliant Dorothy House Hospice, near Bath. It is set in beautiful countryside and the chapel has big windows overlooking the valley. Etched into the glass are the following words: “In this quietness falls down the burden of all our sorrows. For when the heart has found quietness, wisdom has also found peace.” Every time I go down south, I sit for a while in that chapel and remember our life journey together. In that chapel, I do let my sorrows fall and it is a peaceful, blessed place for me. As some of you know, my journey through grief has been a deep, long and painful one. I have been so grateful for the support and patience offered by those around me. There have been times when I thought this season of grieving would never end and I would never feel summer warmth again. At other times, I was desperate to be out of this season and made false starts, just like sometimes we go out without a coat and find that the seasons have fooled us. Now, finally, I sense a shift in myself. The seasons are moving again and I am beginning to see new shoots of hope. My heart has found quietness and wisdom is beginning to find peace. This healing is as much a miracle to me as watching a tiny seed grow into a towering sunflower. It seems so impossible and yet it still happens. Every season has its challenges and its own beauty – even grief. Whatever season your life is in just now, I pray that you may find beauty and blessing in it.