Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jesus Wept.

The weight of grief is so much heavier when a child passes from this life to the next.  It's as if the Earth's gravitational pull has somehow been exponentially multiplied when you are standing graveside in the rain.  Perhaps it is the weight of all that hoped-for life that was not yet lived.  My fourteen year old cousin passed away a week and a half ago.  He passed after eleven years of fighting cancer, just three years old when he was first diagnosed.

When I was young, we used to play silly games in the car to pass the time on long rides.  There was always the alphabet sign game, or the herby-love-bug-spotting game, and the Bible memory verse game.  We would each take a turn reciting a memory verse and whoever could recite the most verses was the winner.  John 11:35 always came in handy during that game, being that it simply reads "Jesus wept."  That verse was always recited with a giggle or at least a smirk for getting credit for such a short verse.  Over the last number of years, that verse has come to mean so much more to me.

Even in its brevity and simplicity, it moves me.  It's that almost-painful feeling you get in your chest when an emotion affects your physical being.  It reaches into me and speaks to the broken parts of me.  When my husband was first diagnosed with cancer, our pastor and his wife came to his bedside in the hospital in those first terrifying days.  He prayed for us and reminded us of this story of Jesus weeping.  Here is a saviour who wept, all too acquainted with the immeasurable sorrow of death in this world.  When I imagine Christ weeping at the grave of his friend Lazarus, I imagine him weeping not only for his personal loss of a dear friend, but at the greater sense of loss.  I think he wept knowing, more than any of us, that this is not the way things are supposed to be.  Yes, God is in control.  Yes, God allows things to happen for a reason.  Yes, God is good.  But I don't think that this is the way things are supposed to be.  And, like Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in this story, I believe he will make things right again someday.  In the meantime, sometimes it's just hard.

Jesus Wept
James Tissot, 1836-1902

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Andrea. It's definitely not the way things are supposed to be. Your cousin's passing is so very sad - we extend our condolences to you and your family.

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