For those who may not know, my friend Liz has suffered a great, great tragedy.
This sorrow has gripped me, and so many, since we learned of the crash. This is an occasion where we need not remind ourselves to weep with those who weep; our tears spill freely. We wake with a start over and over: even in sleep, we bear this burden.
My heart cannot comprehend her loss, but not from lack of trying. I ache with compassion. My soul hurts with attempts at empathy. And my mind is stunned.
This is darkness, overwhelming and blinding.
And amazingly, this is when the comfort comes, for God does not deny the darkness we must walk through. He does not pretend our suffering is trivial. And He does not require us to somehow transcend the pain in order to find Him. No, He is not a God like other gods. He is a God who meets us in Reality. He is a God who is known in the muck and mire of Time. He is I AM, and when we stop trying to shut out life, and instead look for Him in the midst of it, we know Him in ways we never would have imagined.
This is one thing I love best about our God.
He’s right in the midst. Emmanuel. He doesn’t wait for us to attain heaven; no, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death… You are with me,” and “If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there… Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.”
He’s right there, and He can transform our ashes. He can bring light to the worst blackness of our souls, for, “Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day.”
So now we weep. And it is right that we do so. There is a time for weeping, and this is it. But as we weep, we’ll comfort one another with these words, words that take on a whole new life when heard through the waves of anguish:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” –1 thessalonians 4
We love you, Liz.
Thank you, Danica. You put it into words that I could not.
I’m glad you wrote this.
Did you read Holy Experience first thing this morning?
Yeah, I did. Wasn’t that like the Lord showing up in your Reader?
Hi Danica ~ I am so sorry! We are praying with you for Liz and will share with our church family on Sunday. Love, Q
Thank you. I fixed the link.
My mom called me from her office and insisted that I stop school with Tim to fix it!
So, just a thought…I just don’t agree with cooking bacon, then crumbling it. I find they are much crispier when you cut the uncooked bacon into little bits and then cook them. Just my opinion.
And like you, I spent years trying to get the hang of roasted potatoes. The Yukon Gold are best. The pre-heated pan is a must. And the point I made in my entry about not skimping on the oil is valid. So, I am finally (after many pitiful attempts) able to create this variety of delicious roasted potato side dishes. One of our favorites is lots of fresh, chopped garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and Montreal Steak Seasoning. I know, ridiculously easy. But very yummy.
I am very sorry about your friend and her loss. I think back on the day after Marc was killed. I went to Watertown to visit Gina in the hospital and I had to give her a shower. As I washed the blood and glass shards from her hair, she sat shivering under the steaming-hot water, saying over and over, “Is this real? Is this really happening, or is it perhaps just a scary dream?” She must have said, “What am I going to do?” about one hundred times. Then, four days later at his funeral, she bravely stood up and encouraged everyone not to feel bad for her. She explained that yes, although she was going to struggle and miss Marc, she took comfort in the fact that he loved Jesus and was now in Heaven. She proceeded to tell everyone that she actually felt badly for them- the ones who don’t know, follow, and love Jesus. She said, “I will be praying for you, because if you do not, you aren’t going to heaven- you won’t see him again.” This angered many people. She said it very gently and in love, but I think just the challenge and conviction (even from a young new widow) was very offensive. I promise I will pray for your friend.
If it was growing pains, thats kind of scary. You never know. Maybe 6 foot’s my secret goal :)
The next time you come you’ll see if I’ve grown any, but that does mean that I have to grow a lot from now to then! ouch. . .