Aching sorrow, tears, and sleeplessness...
"...weep with those who weep."
A friend is grieving. The heaviness of grief makes my breath stop. I want to wrap her in a hug that will never stop. To rage, question, sob, and mourn as she walks through this dark, terrifying, and often debilitating forest of grief. I want to be there... to make cups of tea, to take care of necessary chores, to encourage or to quiet the sobs.
But most of all, I want to hold her hand.
A painful prayer.
I will not pray this prayer out loud. I will not speak my request to her. For now, she must cry. Now she needs to mourn. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...a time to weep... a time to mourn." Tears help. Tears are good.
But I will pray.
I pray that she will see... that she will taste and see the goodness of the Lord. That the beauty and glory of this truth is not spoken from a place of safety, goodness, and blessing, but that it is shouted in a moment of fear and desperation.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles...
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
He is here. In this moment. In this trial. In this loss. I have no idea why. But I know that he is still good. I don't see it. I don't understand. I know that this only happened because He allowed it. And I don't know why He allowed it. I can't see. I've tried. Tears streaming down my face... I've asked. I just don't know.
But he's good. You can taste it. You can see it.
"The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry." He weeps with our grief, and that one of the first things he will do, in a perfected world is to "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." Before the Hero of the universe proclaims His own glory, even before He announces that He has made "all things new," He stops to tell us, "you will not cry. I will erase this pain. I will make you whole."
But tonight, the tears come. And as my heart aches to reach across the miles with a long, never-ending hug, I cling to this promise,
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good... [for] The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."*
Oh, Lord, please.... let it be so.