“…[W]eep with them that weep.” (Romans 12:15)
If you have read any of our writing you must know that we believe the Word of God. We honour it, we obey it, we love it, we even sleep with it. However, there are times when even the Word of God cannot help. These times are very rare. Typically these times involve a broken heart.
If you are familiar with C.S. Lewis’s book “Grief Observed” you are familiar with his spiritual breakdown. If one is “not a reader” one can watch this play out in (2) two well done films. These films are both called “Into the Shadowland.” One of these films stars Anthony Hopkins and the other stars Joss Acklund. Both films capture the heartbreak and spiritual breakdown of a Christ-ian who has lost his beloved wife. Lewis had only known this woman, Joy for a few years but they lived and loved a lifetime in those few years. Joy died of bone cancer and Lewis was confounded.
In his book, “Grief Observed,” one would read comments such as, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” And “Where is God?….go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.”
Of course, Lewis found that door open again and His faith remained. He turned from grief to thankfulness. He began to thank God for the little time he had with Joy. Lewis also became guardian-father to Joy’s sons. They grieved together and gave thanks together, I’m sure.
In times like these one does not need a sympathetic family member or friend quoting Romans 8:28 to them. “We know all the Scriptures,” one beloved friend said, when grieving over his wife, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Words don’t help. Even His Words. In times like these one needs not encouragement, one simply needs understanding. One does not go to the Word of God, but one runs to the God of the Word. One does not need or even want comfort, one wants to know God is Present and aware of these awful times. One wants to know, “Jesus wept” with me.
When difficult and heartbreaking times come, we see our utter helplessness made manifest. We simply stand there, eyes wide open, shoulders hunched, and with hands opened. We see what we cannot help, we feel that feeling, and we cannot do anything about it. All we can do is utter a sigh of hurt and sadness and pray; pray and sigh. All we can do is weep with them that weep. All we can do is…be
All we can do is… be. Be a servant to the grieving, Be a shoulder to cry on, Be a faithful Pray-er, Be a sounding board, Be one, who is vented upon by the grieving, Be a door keeper, just Be present.
When we are heartbroken we may grow angry. What is to be done with this anger? Do we vent on God? God forbid. Let us focus on the real agent of misery, Sin. Cancer is like sin, it corrupts, it takes, it hurts, it kills. “The wages of sin is death,” we are told in Scripture. We are told further, “Be sure, your sin will find you out.” Sin is a serial stalker and a serial murderer. Sin is our true enemy. Praise be to God, that we have, over the years been able, through the Holy Spirit, to mortify many sins of the flesh. We all, through the Spirit, have mortified/killed sins, here and there.
Some sweet day all sin and it’s defilement will be cast away forever and we will be as He is. We will be reunited with loved ones, we will meet the men and women of the Scriptures, and the authors that taught us much. The great attraction, however, shall be our Master bringing all things together and allowing us to behold His great glory, Forever.