Change is on the way but it’s not here yet. And this waiting is hard and sometimes even brutal to the soul. We must still care for our souls when there’s nothing to do but wait.
Whether waiting for a breakthrough at work, our child to go back to sleep at 2:30 in the morning, or a meaningful shift in our marriage – waiting is hard when we cannot control the timeline.
Things would be easier if we knew exactly how long we had to wait or if we could somehow “order ahead” and significantly shorten our wait time.
But life doesn’t work this way.
Often there is nothing we can do to make the change we desire to come any quicker. And with all creation we simply groan and wait for things to be different.
Even still, we must care for our souls as we wait.
Waiting brings both the lament for things to be different and the grief that in this moment they are not.
Lament is the anger and sorrow we experience when we believe a situation should be different but is not. It speaks to our deep longings.
And grief helps us to come to terms with the reality of a loss while also reminding us that the loss matters.
Generally, it seems easier to acknowledge what we’re still waiting for than to name what we’ve lost in the waiting.
But it’s this unacknowledged grief that can make waiting so brutal.
To care for our souls we must honor both our future longings and our present loss.
For instance, it’s customary to provide food and flowers to a grieving family. On some level we know both the body and soul need nourishment even while grieving.
The waiting is still hard. But we must intentionally care for our souls all the same.