I attended a beautiful funeral this morning. I say beautiful, because the presence of the Lord was evident. But it was a funeral. A friend passed away. Her husband gave one of the most touching eulogies I've ever heard. His love for her, his devotion to her, his expression of his adoration for her... and his dependency on the Lord... made such a mark on me today. And I trust it did others, as well.
I left the funeral, very somber. I realize that's not an unusual feeling after such a service. But, I tend to bounce back from things like this rather quickly. I'm not sure why, but I'm pretty good at pushing things aside. My old psychology professor would say that I have very good defense and coping mechanisms, however, I think it's more like I can tend to be a bit jaded at times. Not too much surprises me; not too much shocks me. For very long anyway.
But today, I can't stop crying.
It's seriously been hours now that the funeral ended, and I'm still crying. I've only now realized, as I sat down to the computer, that these tears are those of cleansing. Yes, I'm truly sad for the husband who lost his wife. Heartbroken for him, actually. But these tears run deeper than that.
This has been a season of sadness for so many people that we know. And many that we don't know, I'm sure. And, there's never a guarantee as to how long such a season may last.
I've already mentioned that I can tend to push things aside - or even down deep inside - but you can only hold things in for so long. And today, whatever was lurking in the corners of my soul; my mind, came flooding out. I was apparently in need of a cleansing and didn't really realize it.
As a Christian, I believe in God. I believe in His divine plan for all of us. I believe in His lovingkindness, His mercy, His grace and His power. As a Christian, I also know that He allows things to happen in our lives, not as punishment, but because we live in a world where bad things happen. Sad things happen. Heartbreaking things happen. But because I'm a Christian, I know that He won't allow me to suffer without His intervention. I can rest in knowing that He has things working for my good, even when there's no good to be immediately seen. I am a Christian, because I know Him. I know He loves me. I've seen His handiwork throughout my life. And I can say, without a doubt, that I could not get through these moments of "cleansing tears" without knowing that He's the One restoring the broken pieces. And, if you've followed this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I have had many reasons to let the tears flow... but you'll also know that I've experienced the comfort of the Lord and His inexplainable peace during the most difficult of moments. So, I will cry it out. However, much is hiding in this overwhelmed heart of mine. I will cry it out. Then I will stop. Hand it over to the Lord's care, and trust Him to redeem it all. I know He will. I know He is even now.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies...
May I also be so bold as to say something else? Be kind to each other. Our life here on earth is so very short. Be merciful to those around you. Be forgiving of others. Give the benefit of the doubt, before jumping to conclusions. Enjoy the life you've been blessed with... you may think something is lacking, but I bet there's something to be thankful for if you take a closer look. And finally, the most important thing I could say here is, if you want to life beyond the grave, find Jesus. It's not about 'religion'. It's not about what you can "do" to earn your way. It's about the relationship He provides. The redemption He provides. The presence He brings to your life on earth, and the gift He gives your life after your time on earth is over. Again, if you've been reading my blog long, I trust I've built a small level of credibility in your mind. And if that's the case, then trust me when I say, your life will never be the same. Of this I'm sure.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you,
live peaceably with all men.
And he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you will be saved...
Then they spoke the word of the Lord
to him and to all who were in his house.
Grace, mercy, and peace,
which come from God the Father and from
Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to
be with us who live in truth and love.
2 John 1:3