Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It {still} Hurts

I typically write on this blog about the things I do to change the world around me, but there are things that happen that change me. I will never be the same as I was before a friend's teenage son passed from this life into eternity. His life, and death, have forever changed me. I hug my own boys a little longer and cherish them a little more than I did before. I understand more deeply the fleeting of this life. 

Man is like a breath;
his days are like a fleeting shadow.
(Psalm 144:4)

This verse reminds us that we are so small, and seemingly insignificant, compared to God. Yet He cares for each of us. Our lives are like a single breath compared to the eternity of God. And yet He sees each one of us and no one escapes His notice.

God has not forgotten us. God sees each of us and knows us better than we know ourselves. God sees the hurts and the happiness.

I wrote this piece a year ago after attending the funeral. Though time has passed and the feelings are no longer as raw, there is still a hurting.

Originally posted April 1, 2013 in a prayer group on Facebook:

I don't normally cry at funerals. Death is a part of reality. We realize that everyone must die at some time and we accept it. Usually.

But, as I was reminded today, by a wise woman, death was not part of Creation. We were not created to die. That is why death is so hard to accept sometimes.

Today, we bid farewell to the earthly body of a 17 year old who had his whole life in front of him, or so we thought. We imagined the great things he would do, who he would be, how he would live for his Lord and Savior. We did not imagine that today we would be standing at the side of his grave saying good-bye to him and to the hopes we had for his future.

Today, we sang songs and spoke words about the good things that God will do, and has done, because of his life, and also through his death. And we believe those words.
But the reality is that it still hurts to know that he is gone from this earth and we will have to wait to see him again.

Yes, we rejoice that he is in heaven, enjoying the splendor and glory of God. And we even envy him a little, wishing that we could experience the unspeakable things that he is seeing right now.
But it hurts.

We can make a list of all the good that will come of his death.
But it hurts.

We can speak words of comfort to our own hearts and to others.
But it hurts.

We can quote Bible verses and sing songs that speak about our hope.
But it hurts.

The reality is that we were not created to be separated. We were created to be in unity with our God. We were created to be in unity with one another and to spend all our days glorifying God and worshiping Him together.
This is why it hurts.

He is enjoying perfect unity with His God. He is enjoying perfect unity with those who have gone before him. He is enjoying what we all ache and long for - perfect unity without separation. No good-byes. No farewells. No tears.

We find comfort in knowing this and in hoping toward the day when we will be unified perfectly in an eternity with no separation, glorifying and praising God together, as we were created to do.
But for now, it hurts.

We weep. We question. We may even be angry. We choose to not think about it. We want to protect our hearts from the hurt.
That is part of the process we go through to try to understand. For we were not created to be separated.
Yet, over all, there is a knowing that there is a future in which we will be together again with him, in a most perfect, holy state.
There will be moments when we don't feel this is true. But our assurance will carry us through those feelings.

I don't normally cry at funerals. I am usually ready to say good-bye and celebrate for the one who is enjoying the glory and splendor of God in heaven.
But for me, this good-bye came too soon. I was not ready to let go. I rejoice that he is enjoying God, but I cry for myself and for the friends and family that are left behind.

I know there will come a day when I can more fully rejoice for him. When the pain of loss has lessened.
But for now, it hurts.

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