I remember very clearly the first time I held someone in my arms who had lost the love of their life. It was my freshman year of college, and a good friend of mine had died in a car accident. They were going to get married.
As heart broken as I felt, I knew that he had to feel a million times worse. My tears were one thing, his were another.
Grief is such an odd thing. Sometimes I hate the culture of America, because we don't know how to grieve. I don't know how many times I have heard justification for sadness or the age old response "I'm ok".
Only, I know what losing a friend is like. I've been there more times than I wish to recall, and I know that they aren't "ok". I know they are far from it.
I myself, remember the cliche things people say to you when someone you love dies. "It'll get better over time." or "they are in a better place". Those things are meaningless when everything within you feels like a deep, dark pit, and the more you think about it, the more you wonder if you will ever stop crying again. I've been there.
In the place where you feel like you are falling, and nobody notices, and even if they did, you know that no one would have any idea how to catch you.
That's why I had to go. I drove the 2 hours to spend a short amount of time with friends I knew were feeling things that I had felt before. The conversations about headaches from crying, about wanting to throw up, about how "I just saw him last night. He was fine. I just saw him." I remember.
At times like these, there are moments where I despise being a pastor. For better or for worse, I like having answers, and to some things, there are none. However, as I made the long drive, talking on my phone, trying to arrange plans for my friends to fly here for the funeral, I thought about the class I took on the study of the end.
We talked about death in that class. About whether or not death was a consequence of sin. We all acknowledged that it was. That it seems too unnatural, wrong, and unfair, to be something that God originally wanted to occur.
She was in that class. His girlfriend. I wonder what she is thinking now as she flies from thousands of miles away? Does she remember that class?
I hope so. I hope she remembers how much we talked about life. That God is a God of the resurrection, and if Christ raised from the dead, so will we. I hope she remembers that Christ will return, and her beloved will be raised, just as Christ was raised. I hope she knows that God is a God of life, and that even when things seem beyond repair, He can breathe life into her. Help her to love again. Help her to speak the truth that Christ is risen, and so shall we rise, if we follow him.
For the end, we know, is far from the end. There is always one more word to be spoken, one more voice to ring out, one more power to be defeated. "then I saw a new heaven and a new earth... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying "now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:1,3-4
4 years ago