April 15, 2012

For Whom Do You Grieve?

Proverbs 24:11-12
"If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"

I encountered an interesting article on grief and loss on the internet the other day. The discussion centered around the source of people's grief. And the question came up: For Whom Do You Grieve? There were poignant and touching comments made. I'm including some of them here, hoping that it will cause you to ask yourself that very question.

Rebecca J.
He lays in Plot 190 A-1 in the Garden of Eternal Life Cemetary, the man in prearrangements explained and provided me with a map. His headstone is black granite with the words, “Beloved Husband and Father” etched into it in all caps and in a classic font. A life summed up in only four words. It is a single headstone, not the double kind with the wife’s name engraved on the right side, just waiting for her to die. I was glad I didn’t also have to see my mother’s name, the reminder that one day she too would die. After sixteen years, soft grass had grown over his plot, but today, was hidden by snow. My tears made it difficult for me to read, but there I stood. Plot 190 A-1. It had been sixteen years since I stood in that spot, in my only dress, staring at the audience of my father’s friends and business acquaintances. Short of breath, I dropped to my knees and let the snow seep through my jeans. I laid down on the wet earth, resting my cheek on top of the snow, imagining my father’s rotting bones six feet below. He was in a maple casket, his bones decaying inside his best suit. I wondered what his body looked like, if the skin on his face had turned to leather, or if his bones protruded from his rotten flesh. I wondered what stench filled the casket. The smell of death, I imagined, the formal-dehyde slowing fading away. His body has been locked inside that casket for sixteen years. Sixteen long years of being fatherless. Sixteen years, six feet below the soft grass and cold snow. I sat up and punched the hard, winter ground. He was supposed to teach me how to make asparagus soup the morning he died.

Reader, even in the everyday-ness of life, death visits a loved one. Can you imagine that your one last conversation with the one you love could be about the minutae and routineness of life? If you knew that it would be the last time both of you would speak to one another, how would your conversation change? The Bible says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Heb. 9:27). But, there is One who is risen. There is only One who can save. Christ alone is the Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27).

Grady Mc.
The father no one even told me about until I was 40 years old which was several years after he died. Although I always ‘knew’ something wasn’t right because I didn’t look at all like my brother, sister or the man who was supposed to be my father, they held onto their well rehearsed stories until it was too late for me to look a the person whom I probably most resemble in the world. So I grieve the man I never knew and the loss of the family who kept the secret for all those years. I imagine how different our relationships would have been & how different I might be if I would have been let in on my own life.

Relationships are the most valuable possession people have. Your very first relationship with your family will impact you - positively & negatively - in your future interactions with others, from friends, spouses, co-workers and the world at large. If you look at how Isaac and Rebekah raised their twin boys, Jacob and Esau, it was unhealthy because each parent had their favorite (Gen. 25:20-34). Probably Grady's parents meant well, but now he is left with more questions than answers. I won't even pretend to know what it's like to have unresolved grief like Grady's. But, this I do know: Christ is our Comforter and peace (John 14:26-27) and will never forsake us or abandon us (Heb. 13:5).

Jen S.
I grieve for children who have been abused, ignored, unloved. I grieve for those who are waiting for a family to call their own, to love them like no one has. A family to make them feel safe, and allow them to smile and have dreams. They are waiting, waiting for someone to say “You are good enough for me to invest in. You are good enough for me to love. You are not broken, you are not unlovable.”
I also grieve for those who are stuck where they are. They have no voices loud enough to get help. They might not know that they need help, because this is reality, this is what happens in families. I grieve for those who are waiting to be rescued. And I’ve learned that it is not enough to grieve. My silent grief, inside my comfortable house will not do the rescuing. I must move, I must act, I must be a part of the rescuing.

Our true Rescuer is Jesus Christ because what profits a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul (Mark 8:36)? There's a hymn that entitled, "Rescue the Perishing". Consider these lines -

Rescue the perishing,
Care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o'er the erring one,
Lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing,
Care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful,
Jesus will save.

Dear Reader, are you rescuing the persishing with the Gospel of peace? If not, why not? I pray that you will be moved by the entries to reach out to a lost and dying world. People are hurting. They need to know that Jesus Christ cares for each soul out there. Jesus died on the Cross and is the embodiment of John 3:16.

If you aren't saved then, Friend, I need you to make a decision right now that you can't overlook or postpone. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for your sins. Without Him, you are condemned to go to hell. Please consider the weighty matter before you. Choose wisely, choose Christ.

Click here: Jesus, Rescue Me Now!

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