Christians also cry
The Spice Box
by Sharon Robertson, Lt. Colonel –
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:3 (NIV)
Memorial Day has come and gone. Though memories of our departed loved ones continue to speak to our hearts, we move on. What choice do we have? The shadowy weeds of mourning are out of style; who wants to listen as we share the sense of loss that that continues to strike so often and so unexpectedly? We struggle to swallow the unbidden sob that swells so painfully…and we go on.
The child of God is not immune to the sorrows that touch the world so painfully. War, disease, natural disasters, crime…our sons and daughters die, our loved ones are taken from us, and we mourn, even as we are reminded that one day we will meet again those who died, yet live through Christ. It is not enough. We miss them NOW!
I remember vividly the days and weeks following the passing of my father, one of the beloved of the Lord. As a Christian I wanted desperately to be able to celebrate his entry into eternal life. As a young person reared in the traditions of the church I firmly believed that he was indeed experiencing a quality of life that we can only imagine…but I missed him. I grieved his absence, and I felt guilty because I grieved. I missed the point entirely; I failed to understand that being a Christian in no way makes one immune to the loneliness and sorrow of separation.
I am a Christian—and very much a human being. Experiencing human emotional reactions is a part of the God-given gift of humanity. It is OKAY for a Christian to cry! What is not okay is to fail to recognize that we are not crying alone. The same God who saw his own Son die on the cross empathizes with us; after all, he has experienced far too often the grief of losing a beloved one—too often with the knowledge that the one whom he has gifted with his love is lost to him forever. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4 ASV), to an extent beyond our imaginings, and is willing and able to comfort, as he has promised.
And he did promise. While we may recognize that the Beatitudes have deep spiritual implications, they also have meaningful practical applications to daily Christian living. And one of those practical applications speaks to the promised comforting of God’s grieving children. It is for this reason that the child of God does not need to try to hide his grief, his loneliness. It is not evidence of a lack of faith, but a statement of faith: God is able to comfort; he has promised to comfort; he will comfort. And by his grace, we will be able to accept that comfort, and, being comforted, move on.
Casting all your care on him, for he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7