The Art of Losing…

In May of 2007, I penned my 5th post out of hundreds of blog posts to follow, and last night I remembered how I felt when I wrote it years ago…

I was reminded of this post, in particular, because I was once again comforting my youngest son in his loss.  Last time it was consoling him in the loss of his very best friend…even as Byron and I were experiencing the same thing in our adult lives and we had no real explanation….no profound words that could make the pain go away… We could only hold him, tell him that we understood, let him cry…and cry ourselves.

Last night was more of the same, and although we may have been tempted to down-play this hurt because, after all, it was just the loss of a football game, Byron & I have experienced enough loss to know that, to an 11 year old, there is no feeling of “proper context” or how much worse pains there are in life…

It hurts to lose.

Period.

So, we did what we did years ago…with the addition of a crazy episode of “Duck Dynasty” which brought a few laughs amidst the tears.

And of course we were able to remind Ethan that this is just the beginning of his football “career” – not the end.  He’s only going to get bigger, stronger and faster, and no one game can take away what he’s already accomplished…

…and that it wouldn’t always feel this bad – in the coming days, his pain would subside.

Still… it’s hard.

And I thought about the scene years ago when he was not yet even 5 years old… far too young to understand the “art of losing”.

This is what I wrote about it back then:

Music moves me. Sometimes, when I can’t find the words to express my feelings (my family will say that’s never!), music can say it for me.

Hillsong United has put out some great worship music, and tonight at band practice we sang what I’m feeling:

( “From the Inside Out”)

“A thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains And should I stumble again, still, I’m caught in Your grace. Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Neverending,

Your glory goes beyond all fame. Your will above all else, my purpose remains The art of losing myself in bringing you praise.

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Neverending, Your glory goes beyond all fame. In my heart, in my soul, Lord, I give you control Consume me from the inside out, Lord Let justice and [grace] become my embrace To love You from the inside out.”

This song was for me tonight because I’ve been struggling all day with “the art of losing myself in bringing [Him] praise…”. Just when I think I’m doing okay, I feel misunderstood, mistreated or misrepresented, then I want to fight back, defend myself or just sit in the corner and cry. But, I know God is teaching me things I can only learn through loss – then I can see the colors created by the art of pain.

A moment ago, my son sat in his dad’s arms and cried over his own loss of friends. My agony at the sight of father and son crying together reminds me of how much more the heart of God breaks in our sorrow. He sees and hears – we must remember this always…”Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Neverending, Your glory goes beyond all fame. And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise, from the inside out, Lord, my soul cries out…”.

Of course, this is an “art” that is never fully mastered, even when one has plenty of practice, but there is joy to be found in the process.

Peace.