I was reminded recently of how enduring the journey of grief can be.
I was also reminded of how innocent but careless or ignorant statements can complicate the healing process.
“God took your daughter”
“It was meant to be”
And a variety of other statements.
In the incarnation, God became human in the person of Jesus Christ for a number of reasons.
Among these reasons is God revealing God’s self as eminently personal and absolutely Loving.
God enters the mystery of evil, pain and death to let us know that God walks with us as we face these challenges.
God never directly wishes evil.
However, God turns everything to good for us.
God also does not normally directly intervene with nature all the time.
If God kept on doing so then nature could not continue on its normal processes.
There is much mystery in this.
However, some things are clear and certain.
God’s love is absolute and unconditional.
God is always there for us.
God promised to look after us in life and in death.
God has promised a place for us with God and with each other forever.
When someone dies prematurely or otherwise, God is there to collect them and look after them in absolute tenderness and love beyond imagining.
When someone is in pain and suffering God has not gone away or turned his face away.
He remained faithful to Jesus in His sufferings and will remain faithful to us.
Just because we cannot understand everything does not negate the above.
God walks with us in our grief, our pain, even our death.
How important it is for us not to give quick and glib answers.
Sometimes the best thing we can do at first is to just be there and allow the grieving person to feel what they feel and to say what they want to say and be present in loving silence.
Grief is indeed a journey and each experience is unique. There are no shortcuts. There is certainly a need for much loving companionship and a patient yet trusting presence!