Archive for July, 2009

A new thought from Matthew 13:33-34 inspired by my morning devos and a small excerpt from “The City Without a Church” by Henry Drummond:

For the leaven to work, it must be worked in and throughout – it must be among – the unleavened dough!

Also, the leaven needs to do what leaven is supposed to do – raise something.

We as the people of God should therefore be among those who do not know nor follow Jesus and we should be raising – raising our praise, raising their hope, raising good and justice and righteousness whereever we go…

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It’s too small. They’re not meant to be that small. It’s not right.

I can’t say it was the first thing I noticed. The first thing I noticed was how full the parking lot was. And how the long line wound around through the chairs in the adjoining room. And how many people I recognized. And how many people I didn’t recognize. And how somber the room was. And how many people had tears in their eyes and tissues in their hands…

But none of that was unusual. None of that was something I’d never experienced before. In fact, I’d been in those rooms more times in the past 2 years than I care to remember.

It was when Mom commented in barely a whisper and shifted to the right just enough to give me a clear view of the casket that the full weight of the tragedy hit. The casket was too small. They’re not meant to be that small. It’s not right that they should contain the lifeless body of a small child. It is a gross injustice.

She was just over three. There wasn’t any sickness, so that we might have had a hint of what could happen. There wasn’t any crime, so that we might be able to punish an offender. No. She was full of life and grace and vitality. And then she was gone. Just like that.

See we tend to comfort ourselves at viewings and funerals and in times of loss by reminding one another that the person had lived a full life, a good life… we remind one another that one who had suffered long under sickness is now better off. And while that never lessens the ache or stops the tears, it can bring a comfort.

That type of comfort cannot be found here.

So we mourn. We stand at the canyon’s edge and we scream into the night. We ask questions whose answers wouldn’t really take the pain away anyhow. We cry and we mourn and we grieve.

We grieve for what should not be. We grieve for what will not be.

For the princess costume that will not be worn again. For the tea parties that the stuffed animals won’t get to have anymore. For the birthday candles that will never be blown out. For the driver’s permit that will never be excitedly grasped. For the diploma that will never be hard won. For the tassel that will be moved to the other side. For the wedding dress that will never be worn and the veil that will never be lifted.

We mourn.

And yet there is One who mourns with us. The One who grieved when His first daughter accepted a lie and choose death. The One who grieved when His people were enslaved, when they walked away and when they suffered. The One who wept at the tomb of Lazarus even though He knew that Lazarus would be walking and talking again within the hour. Yes, there is One who stands with us on the canyon’s edge and cries with us.

And in that we take comfort. There is a peace and a comfort in His presence which helps us to grieve without giving in to utter despair.

And we take comfort because even as this One is here present with us and grieving with us, He is also present with her, playing and laughing and dancing.

For she is in a place with no more tears. So we seek comfort in that. Because she will never come home from school crying because a bully was picking on her. She will never lock herself in her room because her best friend stabbed her in the back. She will never get her heart broken by some boy. She will never be used, abused or taken advantage of. She will never have to see for herself the extent of cruelty and violence in this world. She will never have to face a life-changing or life-threatening illness. She will never have to watch her parents, siblings and dear friends lowered into the ground.

Because she is present with Jesus.

And Jesus is present with us.

And we mourn… with hope.

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