Sorrow

I MISS YOU

This weekend I am with those who are grieving the death of a dear friend, Tom Beers.

This is one of those deeply felt losses which leave a ragged and gaping whole in your life.

This has been a season of losing people. Funerals have been far too frequent.

A year ago I wrote a poem from the perspective of believers losing a loved one in the Lord. If grief is touching your life, I hope these words are a balm of comfort.

I miss you

You were there, always

In warmth and knowing

How can I own this absence

Where do I put this sorrow

 

I know

you are not gone

But you are away

It seems so far

Yet memories are near

And your love is even closer

 

Life

had been full, for you were in it

Now a gaping space is here

It feels as if there is no way around it

I cannot find my way around it

Maybe for now there isn’t one

 

Thoughts

of you fall like rain, gentle and steady

Memories are like stands of autumn trees

       proud in their display

 Or summer fields fragrant in bloom

       gathered and shared

 

One day

you will no longer be far

This hurting is what will be distant

All will be healed

Not patched, but whole and new

New memories will flow, endlessly

 

Today

you know what angels sound like

You have seen the scars that made you  

       forever free

You have heard His voice

Heard Him say your name

 

I just took a breath

which means there is one less between

When you, me, He, we

Forever are in the center of all life is   

       meant to be

 

I miss you

because I love you

Because He loves me,

I only have to miss you for awhile

Kyle Huber 2013

GOD WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR

Debbie Huber, Guest Blogger

Christmastime:  “the most wonderful time of the year”!  We do anticipate the excitement of hearts glowing “when loved ones are near”.  I am so blessed that my whole family will be home together at Christmas. 

But this Christmas, our hearts break for those who are living with immense sadness because they have been affected by the horrifying shooting in Connecticut.  There are others who do not have a home to wake up in on Christmas morning following Super Storm Sandy.  And there are so many in our families and in our church who are dealing with a life-threatening illness, or spending Christmas separated from a loved one because of death.

It is difficult to know how to respond in these situations.  We cannot shield our children from every tragedy.  What should our focus be with our children in the light of the suffering around us?

These tragedies at this time of year do shed light on the world’s biggest need.  We live in a broken world and we so desperately need a rescuer!  At Christmas we celebrate more than just a baby in a manger; we celebrate that our God condescended to be born as a baby and live a sinless life, then take the punishment for our sins that we deserve. 

And one day, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,” (Isaiah 25:8a)

I have found the following excerpt from the children’s Bible, “The Jesus Storybook Bible”, by Sally Lloyd-Jones to be helpful for me personally as well as for children.  She uses prophecies from Isaiah to beautifully focus on the hope that is the promise of Christmas.

“Now God let Isaiah know a secret.  God was going to mend His broken world. He showed Isaiah His secret rescue plan:  Operation ‘No More Tears!’….

 Dear Little Flock,

You’re all wandering away from me, like sheep in an open field. You have always been running away from me. And now you’re lost. You can’t find your way back.

But I can’t stop loving you. I will come to find you. So I am sending you a Shepherd to look after you and love you. To carry you home to me.

You’ve been stumbling around, like people in a dark room. But into the darkness, a bright Light will shine! It will chase away all the shadows, like sunshine.

A little baby will be born. A Royal Son.  His mommy will be a young girl who doesn’t have a husband. His name will be Emmanuel, which means “God has come to live with us.” He is one of King David’s children’s children’s children.

The Prince of Peace.

Yes, Someone is going to come and rescue you! But he won’t be who anyone expects.

He will be a King! But he won’t live in a palace. And he won’t have lots of money. He will be poor. And he will be a Servant. But this King will heal the whole world.

He will be a Hero! He will fight for his people, and rescue them from their enemies. But he won’t have big armies, and he won’t fight with swords.

He will make the blind see, he will make the lame leap like a deer!

He will make everything the way it was always meant to be.

But people will hate him, and they won’t listen to him. He will be like a Lamb – he will suffer and die.

It’s the Secret Rescue Plan we made – from before the beginning of the world!

It’s the only way to get you back.

But he won’t stay dead – I will make him alive again!

And, one day, when he comes back to rule forever, the mountains and trees will dance and sing for joy! The earth will shout out loud! His fame will fill the whole earth – as the waters cover the sea! Everything sad will come untrue. Even death is going to die! And he will wipe away every tear from every eye.

Yes, the Rescuer will come. Look for him. Watch for him. Wait for him. He will come!

I promise.”

WHAT DO WE SAY ABOUT THE UNSPEAKABLE?

Newtown, Connecticut. Those two words no longer bring to mind thoughts of an ordinary American town. Now they haunt us through a grotesque human tragedy.

How do we process these unimaginable events that have become all too vivid in our minds? There is much to sort through as individuals and as a nation, but in these days we grieve and pray.

What I will present today are a couple thoughts to help lead where we go from here.

We can never make sense of great evil

Oh, we can and should find connections, but there was nothing logical in what Adam Lanza did or thought. Evil corrupted his heart and cast out reason.

As time goes on we may understand early threads that charted his dark course. But there is a vital lesson that should leap out at us. Sin should always be greatly feared.

It is too easy to think the path Adam took has nothing remotely in common with our sins. Yes, the degree of his sin is rare, although not as rare as we think – unspeakable things are committed every minute of the day – but the reality that sin always corrupts and always destroys what God made good is a graphic reality we face every day.

Fear sin, immediately and always. When we hate our sin in its early beginnings, it can never mature to darker forms.

No has been more pained than God

God created each individual whose life was taken. God has eternally known each parent, family member and friend whose heart has been ripped apart. God had good desires for Adam, which he spurned and then trampled.

The heart wrenching sights, sounds and feelings that have seared the waking hearts of hundreds if not thousands never leave the attention of God who does not sleep.

So many questions quickly come to us: Where was God? Why didn’t God ….? Surely these or similar questions have tugged at or even shouted in your minds. We simply cannot understand those “whys”, we can only trust Who.

If your response is to say, you could never again trust a God who didn’t stop this horror; recognize the only way for God to stop all human horrors, is to destroy all human sinners.

There is an answer that we have been given. God has an eternal answer for the sorrows of our world. The answer is Jesus Christ, who entered this world in order to die for sinners. By taking the just punishment our sins deserve, Jesus made it possible for us to be reconciled to God with unbreakable bonds. By his death and resurrection Jesus conquered sin, death and evil.

When will we see the consummation of this victory? When God rids the world of all sin and establishes His Kingdom which will never be touched by sorrow. On the day when as the Bible tells us:

“He will wipe away every tear from their 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)

For many of us, the initial response to the unfolding of this horror, was to pull our children near and hold them tight, whispering to them of our love. The heart of your Heavenly Father holds more love than ours. He reaches out to draw you near. His arms are strong to hold you, they ache to hold you. And His voice whispers of love that will “never fail”. In this moment He assures us again, I will never leave or forsake you – I will never let you go.