Redeeming Loss

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them                                                                                                                                                                                   Genesis 50:19-21

I was watching the news the other day, and I saw the story about a couple who had lost their young daughter in a terrible accident. They had decided to memorialize her by setting up a fund which provided for the fulfillment of certain community needs and projects. They used the funds for various enterprises, and put her name on the projects so that her memory was associated with bringing joy and hope to others.

We often hear of stories somewhat like this, and I think that it might be the best way to deal with pain that otherwise might be seen as a meaningless disaster. Losing a loved one, especially a child, is devastating beyond words. How do we come to terms with such pain?

We try to turn it into gain for others.

By turning a tragedy into a way to provide hope for others, we can give some meaning to a tragic event that cannot be explained. We will always have a place of grief in our heart for those whom we have lost. However, if we can associate that loss with a gain for someone else, there comes new meaning into that loss. It does not wipe away the loss, it gives it a new significance.

I am not talking about using such ideas as a “quick fix” grief solution. Quick fix solutions for grief do not exist, and I think the idea is disrespectful to those who have lost someone. I am talking about planning, at the appropriate time, a way to give new legacy to a loss. In this way, we can become more than survivors of a loss, we can be agents of hope through that loss.

Prayer: Lord, help us to find ways to redeem our losses into a way to benefit others, Amen

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