A Grief Sanctified

I got some “feedback” after whining about the counseling class I took last quad. Just to prove that I’m not completely anti-counseling let me say that I am getting a lot out of the grief counseling I’m taking this quad. I read J. I. Packer’s book “A Grief Sanctified” which is a presentation of Richard Baxter’s tribute to his wife, but as Packer says, “This is a book for Christian people about six of life’s realities–love, faith, death, grief, hope, and patience. Centrally, it is about grief.”

There are a ton of great quotes but two that helped me a lot were:

The idea, sometimes voiced, that because Christians know death to be for believers the gate of glory, they will therefore not grieve at times of bereavement is inhuman nonsense. (p 10)

But grief counseling, like marriage counseling, is not magical in its effects. Counseling can only offer understanding of what is actually going on inside and suggest what might be done about it. Just as it cannot bludgeon an estranged couple into marriage renewal, so it cannot jolly grieving persons back into cheerfulness. (148)

Man, these are two powerful truths that we need to remember.

A parting quote that had nothing to do with grief but I thought it was great:

Richard and Margaret, his wife, were Puritans. That means they were gloomy, censorious English Pharisees who wore black clothes and steeple hats, condemned all cheerfulness, hated the British monarchy, and wanted the Church of England and its Book of Common Prayer abolished?right?
Wrong?off track at every point! Start again. (p17)

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