Spiritual Practice

Transforming Grief

Jessica Lippe & Richard Woodard

At the beginning of physical education class, I was running laps around the gym with other sixth-grade girls. Suddenly, the teacher blew her whistle and we all froze. In the center of the gym lay an unconscious student. I didn’t know her; but when she died that day, I knew I would never forget her.

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
Psalm 126:5 (NRSV)

I was shaken up about this for a long time, wishing I could have changed the outcome. Finally, my mom signed me up for CPR and First Aid classes at the Red Cross. I learned skills that could mean the difference between life and death. Emergency aid was a gift with which I could bless others.

Years later, I was presented with the opportunity to become an emergency medical technician. Preparation involved hours of studying and lots of hard work; but when I became discouraged, I remembered that my skills could save a life. What happened in my sixth grade gym class was tragic, but it gave me the motivation to gain new skills and to serve my community.

—Jessica Lippe, 23



the cut tree
bears new life
at its wounded edge.

—Richard Woodard

—from devozine (November/December 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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