Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maybe I've Said This Before, But...

I am beginning to think that we Westerners don't know how to grieve.  We feel uncomfortable with sorrow, whether our own or that of others.  We often try to keep ourselves busy in an effort to not feel the pain, or we surround ourselves with friends, music, entertainment... anything to avoid being alone with the silence and the hurt.

Even Christians are quick to quote Romans 8:28 as some sort of spiritual "Chin up, little camper!" mantra. Or worse, we point out that if you just had enough faith, enough trust in God, you would be bursting with joy. Don't get me wrong; Romans 8:28 is absolutely true, more faith and trust is always a good thing, and we can find joy in the bleakest of circumstances.  My point, however, is this:

Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do - the most Christ-like thing you can do - is to sit and cry with someone.  Enter into their grief, because you know what? It's completely appropriate to cry when someone you love dies.  Or if you've had a rough day.  Feeling sad doesn't indicate a lack of faith and trust; it means you're human and have emotions.  And when those emotions are preached away by a "fast food" Scripture approach, we are actually teaching people that it's not okay to grieve.  And that, in my opinion, is wrong.

My favourite verse in the Bible is John 11:35 (it's also the shortest verse in the Bible, which makes for easy memorisation):  "Jesus wept."  Jesus knew how to grieve.  Jesus was God made flesh.  Jesus understood.  Jesus wasn't afraid to enter the places that freaked everyone else out.

I want to be like Jesus.


Elisabeth said...

This. Is. AWESOME. (And I do mean awe-some.)
I love it.
I love you.

Anonymous said...

As usual Annie, your insights blow me away!
I miss you and love you more than water!