Day 27: From Mourning to Dancing

BY YASAMIN MAHALLATY | March 11th, 2024
Today’s readings

Can you remember a time in your life filled with desperate and distressing prayer? Today’s Gospel story of the official and his dying son is filled with pain and desperation, feelings relatable to those of us who have accompanied a sick loved one. While our Gospel story involves a cure for the son, his father’s encounter with Jesus is filled with other forms of grace. His experience opens him to believe that through Jesus, God is present to him, his family, and his community. His encounter is reflected in today’s Psalm: “You changed my mourning into dancing; (…) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.”

Last year, my grandmother (Mamanee in Persian) received news that her cancer had spread. In the following weeks, I prayed and prayed. And though my prayers were not answered in the way I hoped, I appreciated that she was given peace and that our family was gifted with acceptance. Her final days were graced with loving sentiments from family around the world. While unbelievably difficult, grief and despair were ultimately overcome with trust that God was with Mamanee. In this time alongside her, I felt the impact of this Psalm response: “I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.” When we celebrated her life with extended family and friends, I did so with profound gratitude as we remembered not only her impact, but the importance of community during times of pain. And, as is customary in our culture, we danced.

While I believe in miracles and pray for the sick, I also pray that God is present to them and their communities. I try to remember that peace can be felt in the most surprising ways. May we all be able to and feel God’s grace in times of despair, as we pray for Jesus to turn our mourning into dancing.

  • When have you felt God’s presence in mourning?
  • How has a difficult time resulted instead in blessings?
3 replies
  1. sonja
    sonja says:

    In mourning with others we find inner peace and acceptance. Often death leads to grace in other unforeseen ways. For example, love flourishes even more than before as people unite together to celebrate the lives of their loved ones. Let’s dance for joy.

  2. Teresa Rijks
    Teresa Rijks says:

    Forty four years ago suffering from postpartum depression, I sat with my two year old and baby on my lap contemplating the fact that if I committed suicide I would need to take them with me. It was Christmas time and my husband was gone, taking his mother home after the holiday. I was living in a foreign country and felt so alone. I cried out “God, if you exist, help me.” Miracles occurred- finding a doctor who diagnosed my depression, an American therapist who specialized in women and depression. I learned so much. I am grateful I went so low because I regained my faith and learned how to take care of me so I could care for others.


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