The Closeness of Loss

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                  September 6, 2015

                                            

There are certain events in life that leave us gasping for breath. Not “take your breath away”, but rather struggling to take the next breath.

In recent weeks I’ve had several people that I’ve known for years experience loss or sorrow that is so overwhelming that it is beyond words, and numbing to emotions.

When loss comes close to us we walk the valley of the shadow of death that seems to have no end. There is darkness ahead and memories behind.

Three of my former classmates at Judson College experienced this yesterday. One of them was my first roommate at the college; his first wife a good friend of mine; and her second husband my cross-country teammate and guy that I would “hang out with.” Their daughter and step-daughter was killed in a head-on car collision this weekend. What can you say to someone that experiences the tentacles of loss wrapped so tightly around their lives that their souls gasp in agony? There is nothing you can say to tell them it will be okay…because it won’t be okay!

When loss comes close it is a pain that keeps stabbing. Each Christmas it pricks the memories of the mind, the remembering of days gone by, the tragedy of a future forfeited.

Followers of Jesus are the worst at walking with someone who is grieving…and also the best. We sometimes convey trite spiritually-sounding words like “She’s in a better place!” and “All things work for good!” But we also are prone to “be with’ the grieving…just to be…to mourn with the mourners and walk silently with those who are hearing the loud aches of loss.

When loss comes close we come to know in a very intimate personal way the reality of David’s words “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When i was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; i mused, and my spirit grew faint.” (Psalm 77:1-3, NIV)

Interestingly enough, yesterday we had a call from Colorado Springs Police Department. My wife carol could not get to the phone before the call ended, and the CSPD did not leave a message. She immediately called me and I called the police department to see what the call was about. As soon as Carol ended her call to me she went to her knees in prayer. Her thoughts were about one of our children and grandchildren. Had something happened? As I called the police department my hands were shaking. When I finally got someone on the line she told me it was concerning an elderly person who had gone missing from an eldercare place close to us.

But our thoughts were of the closeness of loss!

My friends are experiencing the closeness of loss that will change their lives forever…and I weep with them!

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Death, Faith, Jesus, love, Parenting, Pastor, Prayer, Story, Uncategorized, Youth

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