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of two different griefs...

Two incredibly different griefs have hit me blindside the past few weeks. Two people who I once called friends have died within weeks of each other, which has left me with an incredible range of emotions.

November 14th. Intentional death. Suicide. No one will ever understand what leads people to that final moment of actually killing themselves, and those that are left, are left with grief. And this grief is a hurt that exemplifies the sting of death. "A life left too soon...a life cut short...a life that had a lot left to live for..." on and on the sentiments go. They are all true, and it the core. It was an old friend who had the world before him, who had a beautiful wife and 4 beautiful children, a pastor, a loved human being, someone who struggled with trauma and PTSD. This grief of a suicide does not have room for smiles...there is only a deep hurt. Yes, there are smiles in remembering the good times, in knowing that Jesus' grace covers even the sin of suicide...but this grief because of suicide is profound in the sense that it envelops a true, deep, real sadness that is hardly ever touched. This death was not Jesus calling him home, this death was him choosing to go home...and go home early.

November 28th, Thanksgiving night. 97 years old. WWII veteran. My friend. He worked every Monday at the church, up until his fall several weeks ago. He loved working at VBS every summer and was faithful to come to every service, handing out bulletins. He loved his wife and couldn't wait to one day reunite with her in heaven. Every Sunday in Life Group we would set up 2 chairs for him to sit on and he would always drink a coke. Our lunch this summer together was the highlight of my friendship with him. He couldn't stop telling me all about his time in the Pacific. We ate and we laughed together for hours. This grief...this is a grief that proves there is victory over death! When he died last night, I didn't ask why....I smiled. I smiled because I knew that He was at long last, hugging his wife, not walking with a walker, healed from his old body that kept giving him troubles. This death was Jesus, calling him home to was time.

Two griefs...two very different griefs. As I drove today, I tried to make sense of these deaths and how odd it was that I would experience two very opposite griefs in such a short amount of time. I cried. I cried hard. My heart aches because well, let's face it, death is death. It is a loss that is irreplaceable. But how could I grieve over one with sadness and grieve over one with joy? Jesus quietly reminded me that although I grieve differently for the two, His love covered them both. He has already defeated death and one day when He returns, "He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

"We're ready, for Your fire to fall We're ready, for Your voice to call We're ready, for Your lightning come We're ready, into Your arms we run We're ready, let the Heavens part We're ready, for the Angel songs We're ready, for death be done We're ready, for Your kingdom come We're ready, like a waiting bride We're ready, for Your bread and wine We're ready, to burst to life We're ready, for You to set things right." -Lyrics by Crowder, "Ghost"

Come Lord Jesus, Come.


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