Racing, Rejoicing and Mourning

It’s hard to believe that one week has passed between the worst day of our lives and today.  Every day I’ve experienced some version of ‘this time last week…’ But today was the one week mark.

During the same hours that were so horrendous last Sunday, this Sunday our friends were celebrating their completion of the 13.1 Los Angeles.  Nearly 200 runners and walkers from our church have given the past four months to training and fundraising for clean water wells in Africa with Team World Vision.

(Ok, our roster says 260-something people, but for lots of reasons, not everyone could do it (myself included.)  So if we’re honest we’re closer to 200.)

So this morning, after a week of hunkering down, Curtis and I took our first tentative steps into the outside world to cheer for them at the finish line.  We took photos and received sweaty hugs and congratulated people who never thought they could do a half, or had never gotten that good of a time, or who just wanted to go back to bed.

Some of our church team after the race.

Romans 12: 15 says to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”  In her book, Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist comments that

it is so incredibly difficult sometimes, because when you’ve got reason to rejoice, you forget what it’s like to mourn, even if you swear your never will.  And because when you’re mourning, the fact that someone close to you is rejoicing seems like a personal affront.

I’ll celebrate with my friends.  I’ll do it because it’s the right thing to do, and because I can’t ask them to mourn with me unless I’m willing to celebrate with them.

More times than I’d like to admit, I’ve struggled to celebrate or grieve well on behalf of members of my community.  But this morning, our community got this right.  Even as we cheered for our team, people kept sneaking over to us, offering hugs and condolences.  Rejoicing and mourning, all jumbled together.

And rejoice we must, because at this moment, our group has raised $89,078.54.  (And I’ve had to change that number three times while I wrote and edited.)

That’s enough for six (and a half) deep water wells (which can support 300 people a day) or 34 traditional wells (each can support 150 people a day).

And in a very real way, celebrating this with everyone reminds me that God is on the move, like Aslan, compelling us to run, inviting us to partner with him as he makes this world right again.  And the world will indeed be right again.

12 thoughts on “Racing, Rejoicing and Mourning

  1. Pingback: For My Birthday | Meredith Miller

  2. It was so great seeing you at the finish line. Definitely made me run a little faster. Thank you for that extra encouragement! Still praying for you both. Love, Lisa

  3. I prayed for you and Curtis while running some of those 13.1 miles.
    Sometimes the journey is so hard…it marks our hearts for ever…
    When Im sorry doesnt feel like enough and hugs cant heal the pain, may you feel the presence of His love through community as we allow our journeys to intersect.

    Juli McGowan reminded me of this African Proverb;
    When you want to walk fast, walk alone…
    When you want to walk far, walk together.

    Thank you for walking with us…
    Thank you for allowing us to walk with you and Curtis.

  4. Meredith,

    Thank you for your encouragement through out our training and reminding us why we were running. We ran not so much for ourselves but for a cause bigger than ourselves. Thank you and Curtis for being at the finish line cheering us all on, it meant so much. No words can change the loss you both feel, but just know we continue to pray for you both.

    Lorna Ramirez

  5. Thanks for being there at the end of the race. It was great to see you! I needed a bit of encouragement – I was starting to fade!

  6. What a week for you both. Tear up just thinking about the amount of pain you must have experienced this past week. I love that you took time to celebrate with everyone today. I’m sure your presense reminded people just how easy 13.1 is compared to your journey this last week. My hope for you is that you have just completed the hardest week of your life. We lifted you up in prayer several times this week. I hope you felt the peace we asked for. Love you both.

  7. Thank You Meredith for you amazing perspective from another team member who was unable to run. Being there to support those that did was a true blessing anyway. Many families will be blessed by everyone’s hard work.

  8. Meredith,
    So glad you and Curtis came today…you are an inspiration and just a lovely person. Thanks for your awesome words. I am a fan!

    Love you guys!

    ps….thanks to your fantastic running training tips, I beat your dad 🙂

  9. When Aslan is on the move, the winter begins to melt. We’re praying that for you and Curtis. I don’t think we can hurry the process, but we share your hope in the One who brings it about.

  10. Thank you Meredith! Ive been praying for you and Curtis and your families and God showed up as He says He will. Thanks for cheering for me today. You are truly an inspiration and truly a remarkable woman who I look up to. Your love for God shines through to all of us and it puts our hearts on fire for Him. Ive watched you grow up and I couldn’t be prouder to say” you are amazing” and it makes me want to step up and follow God even closer. Your encouragement early on in this 13.1 race IS the reason I made it today! May you feel the strength and love that God has for you and may you know what you mean to people like me. Grace and Peace to You!
    Love Bonnie

  11. Meredith and Curtis,

    Just wanted you guys to know we love you and you are in our thoughts and prayers:)
    Sounds like everyone had a great time at the marathon and wow that’s a lot of money so cool.
    Linda, Dave, Tobie and Madison

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