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Ok, so Ii said I’d post what I wrote in my journal about the Van Gogh picture. So here ya go…


She look around. They’re all gone now. The grievers, the comforters, the well-wishers, the pious. Setting there in her starched black cotton dress that will be her constant reminder of her loss for the next many months, she glances at the old wooden table littered with leftover food and dirty dishware.

Her back hurts from standing for condolences and from walking behind the wagon for the long two miles to the graveside. She wishes she could have afforded a horse for him. He was a good man. He deserved better. But she knew she would be frowned upon by the members of the congregation for showing disrespect if she did not wear an ugly black dress. So it came down to wanting to honor him, or wanting to please the others. She bought the ugly dress.

She’s pulled the potty chamber near her chair and rests her feet on it reflecting how appropriate a vessel for the way she feels. She relaxes as the muscles begin to unknot in her back. The candles are beginning to flicker out. The oven stands near as cold and silent as the house waiting to be warmed. She knows she should light a fire on the hearth, but she has no energy. No energy for cooking, cleaning, or even lighting a small fire. The darkness is gathering around her door bringing with it a deep, damp chill. But she has no energy to move at all.

She hears the feet of passing neighbors shuffling past her forlorn house. But she knows she seen the last of them for now. How, she wonders, can life go on outside her door when her whole world has come to a calamitous stop. How can the passersby not hear the screaming of her anguished soul, even though she’s too weak to make a sound.

What will she do now? Everyone’s “God be with you,” and “Just give it to the Lord,” has left a bitter taste in her mouth. “Pray about it,” they said. “Believe what God says, he will provide.” Well she did, pray that is, and he didn’t. What is there left for her to believe?

As the weariness overtakes her, she drifts off to sleep, head resting on her hand, and the words “I believe, Lord, but only help my unbelief…” slip quietly from her lips. And in that moment her unguarded heart begins to murmur with the groanings of the Holy Spirit.

`But I believe that the desire to please you (God) does, in fact, please you.’  (Thomas Merton)


Ok, so a death and a funeral, that’s what I wrote about. Or did I? Stay tuned…


Picture Source: Pinterest