N ANY given day, family members gather outside of the morgue to identify their loved ones. It is heartbreaking to hear their cries after the viewing for identification. If you have never had to endure the anguish of this procedure, you have no idea what is involved.
If you are looking for a way to journey with people who may be deeply committed Christians but whose faith is being sorely tested, or who have no relationship at all with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, you could show up and offer a word of comfort. If this is where God is calling you to serve, you may be a source of strength and prayerful support that could provide a bountiful harvest for the Kingdom.
Death is such a painful reality and now more than ever every family seems to be touched by death, and some by multiple losses within in a very short space of time. We can only begin to imagine what a difficult distraction this is when trying to study, work, drive or concentrate on any given task.
We are indeed in a time of national mourning for the BFM church family and for all persons who have been positively impacted globally by the ministries of the Munroe, Pinder, Parks, Cooper, Thurston and Desantiago families. Here at home, we are brought to our knees in prayer for so many persons who are in grief at this time and we can only ask God to show us how all of this will work for good in the fullness of time.
We each have to reflect on the age old questions that face every generation of human beings:
How do I make sense of this tragedy in my life? How do I make peace with my new situation? What is the next step that I need to take?
Who cares and shares this burden with me? Where is God in this?
Will I ever feel safe again? Will I ever be free from this terrible heaviness (emptiness, numbness, or anguish)? What could I have done to prevent this from happening? How do I forgive myself? How will God’s name be glorified in all of this?
To trust God is to take the leap of faith from solid ground into the great unknown. It is to wrestle with thoughts and feelings to find answers, until all we can do is rest in those eternal arms and weep. It is to recite certain anchor-like scriptures and find the peace that passes understanding. It is to find relief in simple things after the first shock is over or it may mean engaging in work to direct energy away from ourselves. There is no end of the variations on the theme of healthy grieving that often involves a whole range of emotions.
What I do pray that will happen is that we will all search our hearts, make peace with the past, seek to receive and offer forgiveness, and draw closer to God. I pray that the sudden earthquake-like shock will be followed by the after-shocks of prayer result and ultimately praise, for the gift of resurrection, reconciliation, eternal life, and daily transformation.
May no death and no suffering be in vain.
May we stand at the foot of the cross with each other, may we come to the empty tomb together, and may we call on the name of Jesus to give us strength and courage to go on and face all of our tomorrows.