17th April - Thought For The Day - Grief
Words by Bev Jones
Yesterday one of our friends laid his father to rest. Last week my husband’s cousin was buried, and sometime in the next couple of weeks, another of our friends will say goodbye to their dad. And we haven’t been there, and we won’t be there, and we have to rely on virtual hugs, phone-calls and texts, to say words that should never be uttered in such an impersonal way.
We have to try and convey how much we are hurting for them, and we have to try and pray them through these initial very raw times of grief when they feel so alone and disconnected to those who would hold them and sit with them and cry with them.
This is probably one of the hardest parts of this dreadful virus - that those we love are going through such difficult times in isolation - both those who die, and those who are left behind.
Photo by Mike Labrum via Unsplash
As Christians, we know that we are never alone. We know that Christ walks through all this with us, that he has ultimately overcome death, and that nothing can separate us from his love, but that doesn’t - and shouldn’t - stop the heartache we feel when we lose somebody that we love, or when those whom we love are hurting so desperately.
We need to prayerfully work out how we can meet the needs of those who are suffering - and there is of course never one solution that fits all. Everyone is different, everyone’s needs are different - and we are different too, and so the way that we do things, and the things we say, will have to be unique to each situation. But we have to do it. However hard it is.
Malcolm Duncan, a Pentecostal church pastor in Belfast says this:
“...My suffering has re-ordered me. It has changed me forever. If we let him, this is what God does with the heartbreak we face and the sorrow we endure. I have come to see God more clearly and love him more closely while understanding him less than I ever have. He has taken the torn fragments of my soul and held them tenderly in his hands. Grief, sorrow, and loss have helped me to put him back at the centre of my life and allowed me to leave my broken heart in his hands...”
If we can find ways to help people leave their broken heart in God’s hands, that will surely be a good start.
Malcolm Duncan is Lead pastor at Dundonald Elim Church He is the author of several books including, Good Grief published by Monarch, March 2020