01.06 | Mourning into Dancing

This week in Iraq, there was a death in one of our families. The father died. Robert tells me that the funeral process there is a long process, and that grieving for the Kurds is something that people actually look at. In his words, “the wife will mourn long enough for people to know that she cared,” but for how long that is? who knows. One of our friends who was on Robert’s team is going back over to visit her, and we want to send a few small gifts to the family, but there would only be certain gifts that would be appropriate (we think)? For example, we think that perfume would not be appropriate now, even though normally that would be a much appreciated gift. Robert thinks that during mourning the wife is not allowed to perfume herself. She’s only allowed to wear certain clothes. And he said that she is not allowed to dance during this time. I asked how long that can last; he said sometimes as long as a few years. He told a story about how when he was there, there was another death, and another grieving process then…and he said, “Do you remember that photo of us dancing at the picnic? And she was dancing in it? That was the first time she’d danced. And that was a big deal.” It’s interesting then how one photograph can say SO much, right?

I said to Robert then, “It makes the scripture about how God will turn our mourning into dancing” mean so much more then when you understand that, right? He said yes, and that after being there, a lot of things make more sense. Here is the scripture I’m talking about:

1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. 2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health.  3 You brought me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling into the pit
of death. 4 Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. 6 When I was prosperous, I said, Nothing can stop me now!” 7 Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

8 I cried out to you, O Lord. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, 9 “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? 10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord.”

11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

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2 thoughts on “01.06 | Mourning into Dancing

  1. I just found you through your husband’s (I think?) 13 months blog, which I found through OTRGirl’s. I just wanted to say it was a real blessing to read about two people who clearly have a heart for the people in Iraq. Ever since hearing a sermon about a guy named Boniface who believed in “running toward the roar” (that is, where the battle is most fierce) for the sake of Christ, my heart has been in that place too. The person giving the sermon said a modern day Boniface would have headed straight for the land of Iraq. God is moving there, and it is very exciting to hear. I don’t know if you are familiar with the Classical School of the Medes, but that is one special project started by some guys in Franklin, TN. That project is what got my own heart connected. You have no idea who I am, but I’ll be praying for you guys, as God leads you how and where He has in mind. Thanks for being such an unexpected blessing today!

  2. Sara, thank you for those encouraging words.

    And thanks for your prayers.

    I have heard of the Schoolof the Medes. I was lucky enough to meet some of the outstanding teachers who work there in northern Iraq. They touch young lives there like you wouldn’t believe!

    And they can dance!

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