As I’ve taken the time to meet with people since the inception of The Meadow, I’ve noticed the overwhelming challenges that so many have faced or what I refer to as a dark night of the soul. I decided to host a four-week workshop called Mystery & The Great Sadness. We had seven people share their great sorrows. Stories and tears that touched on the death of a child, losing a spouse, long term illnesses, cancer of a child, and divorce. I was truly amazed at the depth and honesty that was shared and so seldom heard. Many of our speakers expressed their loneliness and feelings of being abandoned by God. It clearly was their dark night of the soul.
For participants that listened to the stories, there was a place where they entered into the story-teller’s sorrow, embraced it and became transformed by it. For those who shared, it was a time of healing, comfort and honesty. There really was an encounter with God, an encounter of experiencing God’s ever-present comfort in times of trouble.
What was most evident in all the testimonies was the wonderful reality of the Cross and Resurrection and that it
enter into the depth of our suffering. In times of great sorrow and pain, He is most powerful and present! All suffering is God’s suffering.
As the workshops progressed throughout the 4 weeks, I heard things like
"The experience of being with those in suffering and moving forward is real life."
"These workshops were extremely gripping! I appreciated the honesty."
"This was an amazing opportunity to experience an unusual depth of community with others as significant trials and pain were intimately shared."
Confirmation came when I heard from many in the group say they felt The Meadow was meeting a great need to provide a safe and nurturing space for all to share their stories of sadness without judgment.
St. John of The Cross says; “God loves us in very unfamiliar ways.” From personal experience I know this to be true. After the death of our daughter Marcie, I thought God was going to take away my pain, but the pain continued to grow. I cried to God and heard no response. But through time, though my pain never left and still hasn’t, I’ve encountered a God who is beyond my comprehension. A God who Jeanne and I both say, we would never have wanted to miss!
We’d love for you to check out all the happenings at the Meadow and invite you to be a part of some of our upcoming workshops, podcasts, and retreats! Take the time to stop by our website at
for more information.
Loving God and Loving All!
Bob & Jeanne Arnold