Enduring the journey of grief.
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“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked [Mary]. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
John 20:15 New Living Translation
You may know that my father-in-law died recently.
He lived 98 years.
He put up with me trying to help him farm. He laughed when I hit my thumb with a hammer multiple times and forgave me when I left the gate open to the milk parlor and the cows messed up the holding pen. I knew I had made it when he was comfortable enough to fall asleep on the piano bench as I talked with him.
There is an interesting relationship between the sun and my son. Though the sun was setting, it still stands above Michael. As I look at this picture, my eyes drift between Michael and the sun. They move down and up and down again. This is the movement between hope and pain and hope again.
Those of you making this journey through grief know that pain and hope are real. There are days of pain and days of hope, more days of pain and more days of hope.
Will the intensity of this journey lose its grip? Yes.
When someone dies they remain a part of us, but with hard work and given time the pain of death loses intensity. While we make this journey into and through grief we hear the voice of Jesus singing out to us as it did to Mary. He simply calls out her name in midst of her tears and Mary responds by clinging to him, her “Rabboni.”
As we grieve, Jesus calls out our name and invites us to cling to him. Mary had to let go because Jesus needed to ascend to his Father, but you and I can cling to Jesus for eternity. Through all the pain and hope, the resurrected and victorious Jesus can be trusted to see us through our grief.
The death of grief is near. The day of Jesus’ return is closer now than ever. The day is coming when God will wipe away all tears.
Text and Picture Copyright Douglas P Brauner