JUST every so often there’s a life that comes face-to-face with its own death.
Total deconstruction of person, identity, and character. Let’s call him Job. (We never think to compare our journeys to Job, but, of a sense, his story was placed in our Bibles for a very good reason.) Job is a good person but he doesn’t know what’s about to hit him. He’s never been a bad person. Yet, what’s about to occur in his life will send him into an abyss of lament. He’ll hiss like a sissy. He’ll nark like it’s nobody’s business. We’ll see a different side to this righteous man. He’ll show his ‘true colours’.
Well, of course, that’s rot. One thing we can predict is that if calamity comes into anyone’s life it’s going to floor them. Job is a great example, because if Job can hiss and nark, then anyone will. Thank you, God, that you show us in grief there’s a grief response that looks like sin, smells like sin, and would be sin… if it wasn’t for the fact it’s grief!
It’s only when we face the deepest, darkest, most dastardly loss (or series of losses, as was the case with Job) that we realise we’re human and capable of being broken. Indeed, we only accept what has always been the case (that we’re broken) when we’re broken beyond recognition. Then we accept what was always the case. Suddenly out of the worst life situation we come face-to-face with the truth and we’re humbled enough to accept it.
A time comes upon a woman,
Or maybe it’s a man,
When life is nothing like,
Accordance with their plan.
What does one do,
When a life we had, it ends?
A calamity of being,
A death that life it sends.
All one can do,
Is hold on in hope,
Pray for poise to rebuild,
For sheer strength to cope.
And then come to God,
Who knows your crushing lament,
Acknowledge him and he’ll lift you,
Before your life is spent.
The years they’re coming,
If there’s any hope it’s this,
One of these days or years,
God will bring you a better bliss.
If there’s one thing we all must know it’s this. Any of us can have our lives crushed anytime. Many are so cruelly dealt with in life. Yet these are also the ones that rise from the ashes if they never give up on growing through it.
When loss swarms into life like a plague, touch the lintel of your heart with compassion, taking refuge in your grief. Then bitterness and resentment will pass over your soul.
Judgment of grief as sin is irreconcilable and maddening. The Bible tells us that.
But compassion works healing wonders in the realm of deepest, darkest pain.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.