Life has the ability to break your heart. Sometimes in instants, sometimes slowly. There are very few certainties in life. One of the only certainties is grief. It’s a part of being human. Grief is inevitably a part of love. Jesus was called a man of sorrows. He had to be. He was a man filled with compassion. He was love incarnate.
And Jesus wept. Though I know there are no tears in heaven, a part of me still thinks that somehow Jesus still weeps. Perhaps it’s in his ability to be outside of time. Kairos, not chronos. He’s eternal. Not old or new. He’s not timeline-able.
But we are. We have a brief run on this earth and that’s it. And if you care about anyone on this earth, you’re bound to have a very ugly run-in with grief.
And I hate that.
The worst part about grief is that there’s no fast forward button. There’s only living through it. And it rarely asks for your consent, and perhaps that’s why we hate it even more. It blindsides you, it presumptuously writes itself onto your heart-calendar. It’s a houseguest that has to come and stay for a while.
It’s times like these where I don’t know how people survive without the Gospel. At times, I can hardly survive with it. What do you do when life doesn’t make sense? There are times when it’s not going to make sense. Our brains will try to rationalize things, trying to sort them out into mental files, taking notes on how the world works, like it’s some sort of algorithm. Like a Netflix queue.
Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people. Mysteries happen. A + B does not always equal C. Life will break your heart.
What will you do then?
The only comfort I know comes from God’s word. If anyone was a “good” person, it was Jesus. He was sinless, pure. And he was crucified. (That doesn’t make sense.) He hung on a cross, and I’m sure for the disciples, the scene did not compute. He chose death so we could face death differently; so we could face life differently.
The tragedies and losses that bump up against us in this life are a series of Good Fridays and the Saturday that follows. They’re like giant caverns in the ground, valleys of weeping you have to walk through. Our only hope lies in the fact that Jesus transcends death, and he gives us words on Heaven.
Heaven tends to be a great thought when it’s an option. It tends to be quite a bit harder to rejoice in when you’re absolutely forced to lean on it. But I believe that God’s word isn’t just an old book of (at times) inspiring stories or moral anecdotes. I don’t think He was lying and just wanted to pawn one off on us.
I don’t think it’s just another “Chicken soup for the _<whatever>_ soul.”
I think he wants his words to really give us life.
Loss has a way of forcing us to close our eyes. It kidnaps our present view of reality and takes it on a ride to places we don’t normally go. And yes, places we often don’t want to go.
But someday what we know in part we shall know in whole. Someday Sunday will come and all will be put right. Until then, I take solace in knowing that Jesus wept and weeps with me. He is close to the brokenhearted. He is strong enough to hold our anger, our questions, our meltdowns. He is bigger than our tears. He is the only constant. He is faithful even when we falter.
May God continue to be gracious to us as we walk through the crosses that love hands us in this life. May God provide breath to your body and faith to your kidnapped eyes. May you feel his hand upon your head, may you feel his strength undergirding you.
Just keep breathing and walking. Though the night is long, Sunday will come.