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Monday, February 28, 2011

Jesus Wept

I wonder how many people I have made feel guilty at funerals.

So many times I tell people that we are grieving for ourselves because the one who has passed is much better off than they were on earth. I remind the loved ones that there is no more pain, hurting, treatments and whatever else the deceased experienced before finally passing. I tell them that they should rejoice in the "homecoming" of their loved one. It is almost as if I am saying, "Stop that crying right now. You just dry it up! There's no call for it!"

How sick!

I believe people need to grieve the loss of someone they loved. They really don't need a preacher telling them what they already know. They need to remember the loved one fondly. They need to allow the pain to come to the surface. Buried pain causes all sorts of trouble.

Sometimes there is already guilt without the preacher adding more. There may be words that shouldn't have been said before the loved one's passing. There may be regrets over things done. There may be wishes that more time was spent together. Nothing can be done to rectify any wrongs felt.

So, I have a new approach. I tell them that Jesus once wept at a funeral. He knew what was about to happen. He knew that Lazarus would be brought back to life. He knew that the family would start rejoicing at the one who was no longer lost to them. But He cried anyway.

 If I really wanted to be like Jesus I would simply grieve with them. It doesn't matter that the person is in the best place. It doesn't matter that they are no longer sick, old or troubled. It only matters that the ones left behind know that God walks with them and He hurts too.

John 11:35 (NIV)
Jesus wept.

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