One of my daily liturgies is to open an email from BibleGateway to see what God might be saying for the day.
Today, on the 4th anniversary of Gordie’s home-going, I am surprised-but-not-surprised to find that God was thinking of me and wanted me to know.
Today I read:
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)
With all that God has going on in the world – pandemic, stife, poverty, riots – how is it that he could remember today, sit with me awhile, lift the heaviness from my heart?
There is a story that always gets to me, as it reveals that no matter how much we might feel we are forgotten or overlooked – God is always there, willing to identify with us.
Shortly afterward, Jesus left on a journey for the village of Nain, with a massive crowd of people following him, along with his disciples. As he approached the village, he met a multitude of people in a funeral procession, who were mourning as they carried the body of a young man to the cemetery. The boy was his mother’s only son and she was a widow. When the Lord saw the grieving mother, his heart broke for her. With great tenderness he said to her, “Please don’t cry.”
Please don’t cry.
Jesus, doesn’t this passage imply that you were crying?
For clearly it says His heart broke for her.
Just like when your friend Lazarus died, and you knew – you knew, just like you knew here, with this son – that you were not going to allow him to stay dead – even then, you wept?
Was it because, in that moment, you could see not only this widow’s grief, but all the future griefs of this world – all the deaths that were to come, all the future mothers and brothers and sisters and friends who would mourn as they carry their loved ones to the grave?
Could you already see mine?
Then he stepped up to the coffin and touched it. When the pallbearers came to a halt, Jesus said to the corpse, “Young man, I say to you, arise and live!”
Immediately, the young man moved, sat up, and spoke to those nearby. Jesus presented the son to his mother, alive! A tremendous sense of holy mystery swept over the crowd as they witnessed this miracle of resurrection. (Luke 7:11-16)
That is what we need to remember.
Although the immediately for my son looked much different than the widow’s – just as it may be for the thousands and thousands that will die today, and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that – we can trust that our Abba-Father is infinitely willing to identify with the tender and particular of both our mourning and rejoicing.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid – please don’t cry – you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)