Thursday, June 2, 2011

~ "Be Not Afraid..."

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now,for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. (Luke 6:20-22)

People we love die. Each person experiences the death of another in his or her own way. What someone means to you is not necessarily what they mean to another. The relationships differ with the individuals involved. I talk about death of loved ones in my book. There were many, sometimes, too many to think about. Each one was different. There are some that stick with me more vividly than others.

When Lazarus died, did Martha and Mary tell Jesus that his loss was not as great as theirs? Of course not! He shared in their grief! His relationship to Lazarus was different than that of Martha and Mary, but he shared in that same loss. His love for Lazarus was no greater, nor was it less than theirs was. Each "love" is different and although you may not have the same relationship with the "dearly departed" as someone else, you do experience it with the same intensity. Is a mother's grief for her dead child any different than the grief a child feels at the death of it's mother? Can an uncle's death be as equal in pain as a father's death? Is the death of a woman's husband a greater loss to her sisters and brothers and their spouses than it is to spouses of the dead man's brothers and sisters?

Death is removing the link from a chain that connects us to one another. Each person's place in the chain may differ from your perspective, but it is the same link!

Jesus tells us to share in our joys and our sorrows! He does not want us to "make light of" the grief of others because they were not related by "blood" or did not share the same relationship as someone else. Do not try to understand the depth of someone else's grief - you can't. Accept it and offer comfort. The heart knows no boundaries either in life or in death. Be honored that that life affected someone else enough that it is missed. Be gentle and caring and willing to try and understand their loss as well. Whether you realize it or not, they too, have suffered greatly!

Jesus tells to not to be afraid - that he is there waiting for us. Our worthless flesh will become the dust it came from, but our precious souls will soar with him in all his glory. Put aside your bitterness and your petty jealousies - they aren't nearly as important as you think they are. Forgive those you feel have wronged you intentionally - they may have, but they may not have (only one knows for sure). Love those around you while you have them here - offer them the opportunity to see the face of God if they do not know him. Don't waste your time worrying about the dead - it's too late for them! Pray for the living so that they may "see the face of God and live!!!"