In the last 3 weeks two different families that I love have suffered the loss of a child. Even though I can’t begin to understand their grief, my heart aches with sadness for them. I have never understood the concept of grieving in solidarity alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ like I do right now.
In the wake of the recent death of his nephew, my friend Tom Fuerst posted this piece about mourning on his blog. Please take the time to read it. It really puts in to perspective how we can respond to the pain of our friends in a way that builds them up.
From the outside looking in it is really easy for me to think about the good that can come from these tragedies in the future. I can see how the stories of these peoples’ lives could help to touch the hearts of the hurting and the broken in the future. But what about them? They are the hurting and the broken right now. What do we do for them now?
We must embrace mourning as a body of believers. Mourning can not be avoided. Mourning is a key part of our journey on this earth. It is through mourning that we can fully grow to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the death that he suffered on the cross. When our friends suffer loss, we suffer with them.
Let’s hypothetically say that God isn’t real. Let’s say that my faith is a fraud. Let’s say that this is a fairytale and that there is nothingness after we die. Even if my faith was a lie, the hope that I feel in the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ is worth a lifetime of religious obedience and self-sacrifice. The ability for me to see hope in utter desperation and misery brings me so much more joy than any sort of “mental liberation” ever could.
We should not flee from grief and mourning because death is not the end of the story… its the beginning. You see, Jesus died. His body was buried in a grave. All hope was lost.
But then, in the darkest moment that the world has experienced, Jesus Christ rose up from the dead. When he stepped out of the tomb He laid death into His own grave. The victory was won. Grief could not hold Him. Evil was defeated.
I believe that the love of God is stronger than the power of death.
What could be more liberating than that?