Monday, April 28, 2014

measuring life by loss

Loss of friendship.
Loss of community.
Loss of reputation.
Loss of momentum.
Loss of peace.
Loss of focus.
Loss of position.
Loss of weight.
Loss of dreams.

This year has been marked by profound loss. In the wake of all this, any little loss, like a broken dish, perhaps, swells in significance. Yet I'm challenged by others who have suffered deeply and found grace in that very place of loss. Lilias Trotter turned her back on a promising career in art in order to pour out her life in the deserts of North Africa. She writes boldly:

From the art and writings of Lilias Trotter in A Blossom in the Desert, page 27.
Also available freely online here.
By her definition, this has been a rich year, storing up treasures of faith and discovering the true source of worth in Christ. On the back side of every loss is a gain. We only need eyes to see it that way.

Pottery by Rebecca Ito. Photo by Carmen Imes.
Gain of empathy.
Gain of understanding.
Gain of dependence.
Gain of humility.
Gain of gratitude.
Gain of re-focus.
Gain of correction.
Gain of solitude.
Gain of identification with Christ.

I dare say the sting of loss is blunted when we discover we have not lost and cannot lose what is most precious—our Savior's deep love for us.


  1. Good words Carmen. I am truly sorry for the losses yet grateful for the gains. As time moves forward I pray you will be able look at this past year with a truly deep gratitude for the gains and a sense of peace around the losses. But, that said, I also hope you will give yourself the time and space to grieve the losses as well.

  2. Hi Carmen! I was doing a image search on google for watercolors by Lilias Trotter (we are studying missionaries in N Africa right now) and found this blog post! I was excited - I know seminarymom!!
    This is such a good post - this year has been such a hard one for us as well - so much loss and hardship, and yet, so many gifts and gains.
    I am terrible lately at keeping up with blog posts, but am so glad I found this one!
    Blessings to you, friend.

  3. Julie,
    Glad you stumbled upon my blog! May the Lord meet you in your crucible and bring you forth as shining gold. He doesn't waste anything.