GENERATION TO GENERATION: Unresolved Loss

Civil War doctors treating a wounded soldier.


The danger of unresolved grief or loss in one generation is the inheritance of the following generations. More people were killed in our Civil War than in all our other wars before or after. This loss, as well as the slow economic recovery in the south, has contributed to today’s bifurcated nation. Today we call it urban/rural or blue/red, but the ancient “us vs. them” metaphor still holds true. 

This past year I’ve been journaling about the LOST CAUSE, that “late unpleasantness” of over 150 years ago. Over seven generations have passed, but many of these phrases and words are still in Southern mouths. I think unfinished grief for the loss and disruption of that way of life has carried over into many of the troubles we have today: continued racism, rise of white supremacists and nationalists, economic inequalities, and ecological destruction of our environment.

Confederate soldier with forty pounds of gear

We also are at war with our better selves, for too many of us have addictions to work, busyness, achievement, substances, relationships, or fixing things that can’t be fixed. If we all worked on our own problems, as much as we worked on everyone else’s, the world would be a better place. 

Dr. Mary Walker, Syracuse Medical College, Surgeon


After all, if we read our scripture correctly, and by this I mean “without the belief I alone am the savior of the world” preconception, we’d see the very people who walked with Jesus Christ, ate the bread he blessed and broke, and saw him heal the sick and raise the dead weren’t able to make a perfect church or a perfect world in their lifetimes. 

No one in over 2,000 years since then has done this either. What makes us think we are so special? This isn’t to say our calling is a LOST CAUSE, but to remind us God’s timing is at work (kairos), not our hurried, human timing (chronos). 

If this relieves you of some small burden at the closing of this year, God bless us every one!

If you wonder where some of the common phrases you hear people use without batting an eyelid, check out the PDF below. 

SOUTHERN SLANG AND THE CIVIL WAR LINK: 13 pages!

http://www.citrus.k12.fl.us/staffdev/social%20studies/PDF/Slang%20of%20the%20American%20Civil%20War.pdf

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About artandicon

I'm an artist and a retired pastor. I've had a seizure disorder for over 35 years, but it didn't slow me down until my early 60's. Then I rediscovered a renewed life through creative expression in color and word. I've combined my love of color, God, nature, and words into a new passion and calling. My studio is ARTANDICON: art at the crossroads of life & faith. Every rock, tree, stream & cloud shouts out with the joy of God! I blog (at www.souljourneyswordpress.wordpress.com) a scifi novel about a time traveling priestess from the planet Didumos, who visits earth when she has an epileptic seizure, and shares my life.
This entry was posted in Ancestry, art, Civil War, Faith, Family, grief, Healing, Imagination, Lost Cause, Ministry, ministry, purpose, purpose, Racism, Spirituality, Stress, Uncategorized, Work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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