I'm on an email list called "Sound Bites." Each day, I receive an email with a short thought to consider. Last week sometime, one arrives about grief and mourning. It was a quote from someone named Brenda Wilbee, published in Guideposts 2003. She talks about the idea that our Christian community will sometimes discourage us from mourning, but saying things like, "It was God's will," or that our loved one is in heaven -- why be sad?
Is it true that sometimes we are told that grief is unChristian? That lamentation "reveals a bankrupt faith?"
I get pretty angry when I hear phrases like, "God needed another flower in his garden" and "God had need of him in heaven."
I don't believe God takes our loved ones from us. I believe people die. I'm grateful they go to be with God, but that doesn't eliminate my grief.
Have your read the psalms? Have you noticed Job in the Bible or Lamentations? There is a time to cry. Blessed are those who mourn. In grief, we can find God, just as we can find God in joy, in laughter, and in every part of life, but I don't believe that God causes pain to make himself known.
I think that we are not safe in this life because we are Christian. I don't believe that we will escape sadness. I do believe that we will be comforted, that we will know God, that we will have strength we didn't realize we had.
Jesus cried. It's OK for Christians to cry, too.