Grief is such a funny thing. The past few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve been fine…I’m living quite literally half a world away from my hometown right now, and really I’ve not lived in my hometown for upwards of ten years, however the past few months have taken me closer to home than I feel like I’ve been in the longest, with the losses of some dear friends that I didn’t even realize where as dear as they were until they passed.
The most recent passing was a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t until this past weekend that I was really ready to hear the details.
When I heard them I was shaken to the core. How could someone so giving?! So loving?! So full of life, just all of the sudden be gone?! And not only gone, but lost to a harsh, harsh addiction?
It wasn’t until this Sunday during the church service, when I had to quietly excuse myself, that I realized how much this loss hurt. Then again today, when I was expressing my condolences to a dear friend, about a death in her life, and suddenly I’m the one breaking down. At first I brushed it off as being tired. But when she came into hug me I just couldn’t stop sobbing…this loss hurts. It hurts a lot, and I’m not even sure why? I know that my sweet friends are in a better place I do. And that’s what this dear friend was trying to talk me through. Christian grief is tricky. We know our friends are home. We know they’re no longer hurting. With that being said, there’s one verse that immediately comes to mind…and I’m sure it’s the same verse that came to every Christian’s mind when I brought up the word “grief”.
In John 11:35 the Bible tells us that when his friend Lazarus died, “Jesus wept.”
The son of God, who had the ability, and ultimately wielded that ability to bring his friend back to life wept.
I don’t know if the tears were for the physical pain that Lazarus must have been feeling when he passed? I don’t know if the tears were for Lazarus’ family and what they must be feeling? I don’t know if the tears were the human part of Jesus expressing himself? I just don’t know. And the solace I take away from this is that I don’t need to know right now.
I can take my cues from the son of God and let these tears flow right now. I can let this grief get the best of me for a hot second. But then I can pick myself up. Just like my friends would have wanted, just like Jesus did and make all of these things work for the good of His kingdom. I may not know what that looks like right now, and I may never know until I check in with St. Peter at the pearly gates. But for tonight I will rest in the knowledge that my savior wept when His friends passed, and I am allowed to do the same.