Friday, January 20, 2012
Weep, Wept, Weeping
I love podcast, I listen to them while I run, I listen to them while I am driving. Yesterday I had to pull over in the parking lot, pull up my bible, stop and listen, take notes, and weep. I have been listening to The Village Church sermons, the one that I happened to fumble into yesterday was one on Leaving. Matt Chandler talks about death. The sermon is filled with so much. I don't want to go into a full cliff note of this sermon but I do want to write about my response to John 11:27-36. When Matt continued to teach on Lazarus and the events that led up to Jesus resurrecting Lazarus. I had to pause my podcast. I kept reading the words to myself over and over again.
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept. (John 11:27-35)
I read this over and over, weeping. Every time I read "Jesus wept" and the Jews said “See how he loved him!” I wept more. I continued crying, I didn't pray I didn't try to talk, I just wept. My chest hurt, my mascara ran down my cheeks. I was born baptist and I have been in Churches where they talk about the holy spirit and they performed circus acts because of the holy spirit so it is a little surreal for me to say, but I believe without a doubt that I felt the holy spirit. I felt God and I believe that He was crying with me. I have never cried like that. I have cried, I have wept, but not like I did yesterday in my car. I could see Jesus, just weeping for this man that He did love and weeping for the people that were mourning Lazarus' death. I knew then that He is surely weeping with me. It must pain Him to see his daughter hurting. Just as it pains everyone to see me hurt, to know that these moments exist in my life, that these moments are more a part of my life than happy moments. Just as it pains me to see others who have experienced loss and hurt how my heart aches for them. I understand the sting that death brings to ones life and the the crazy that grief makes you feel.
After all the weeping, I sat there and reflected and thought, so why if I have a God who I felt weep with me, do I have a God who allowed my daughter to die. I don't know the answer to this question. Is it because He knew I was strong enough to handle this? If that's the case I would rather be weak. Am I even truly strong enough, I don't know. I am only a full 3 months into this. There is no way to know the pain that will continue. What will I do when I can't plan her first birthday, her second, will the loss, the hurt, become too much? Will my marriage survive this? Marriage is tough without the event of loss added to the list. Is there a divine purpose to Kelsie's death? I would like to think so, but I will never know what that is. Honestly even if God wrote it out right in front of me I wouldn't understand. In all this I have to believe that on that day in the Garden of Eden, when Eve convinced Adam to share in the forbidden fruit, sin entered into the world and with sin comes death, with death comes tragedy. I have to believe that God weeps with us because this is not the world that He intended for us. I believe because we have a sovereign God that He then gave us another way to live in the world He intended for us. Through the death Of Jesus we do not have to experience death as an end all.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26)
I believe in that moment before Kelsie died, an angel from Heaven came and carried her sweet soul to Heaven, the world that God did intend for us. Does this give me peace, as I write, yes. I have comfort in this moment believing that as hard as loss is and as crazy as grief makes you, it is just a season and that someday, when my work is done for His Kingdom's sake, I will enter, just as my daughter has already, into the world (Heaven) that God did intend for us.