CONSOLATION is an incredible word in the context of God as our Lord relates with us in our affliction. As we human beings might console each other in our afflictions, God also consoles us, collectively, as we enter into the consolatory work of compassion. We get to learn it is his will that we console another with that which we have perhaps only once received ourselves.
Once we have been shown the way and the method of this consolation it sticks.
Once we have known the experience of being comforted by God, access to future experiences of God’s consolation are but a choice away.
The beauty of this is access.
God is accessible.
Our Lord is making himself known; that his Presence is a mystical reality that needs only to be known, then it is real eternally for that person who has gone into that quiet place.
The heart of a person is a place where God’s Spirit has made himself a home.
Our Comforter is the Holy Spirit who is in us, constantly working through us via many other faculties. Now, in the agency of pain, the Holy Spirit is making himself known. Through the knowledge of an inherent empathy, we know God is with us, making all the difference. The circumstance isn’t changed, but all the same we are being comforted with a comfort we have never felt before. And that comfort is from now on ever more strangely accessible.
As we battle with our emotions in the midst of relationship breakdown, betrayal, loss, and grating loneliness, we are touched in the production of tears through a silent sort of lament with God. As we speak of our anguish – not in words, but in a language of pain – the Spirit intercedes somehow.
As we belt out those tunes of ugliness, when we would not be seen like this, where only God is welcome (because God is in us) we begin to see and hear into our very selves, as in peering into a mirror. We begin to see and hear into ourselves. For the first time we see who we are and because of our fatigue we do not contemplate rejecting ourselves. We see and hear, and we understand; finally, we understand.
Receiving God’s consolation in our grief is the seeing, hearing and feeling of our pain in ways that we can understand and accept. Suddenly there is no longer any judgment against us. Moreover, we stand there, having lain inconsolably, with fresh perspective we never knew before. We have come to know ourselves. God has given unto us a healing; something better than we ever wished for.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.