A dear friend of mine in South Africa has recently experienced the loss of a precious friend. He wrote these thoughts and I asked if I could share them with you. May they bless you as they have me.
"When death comes, grief arrives like an unwelcome guest.
Friends and loved ones strengthen each other with soothing words and kindnesses, and a drawn-out battle begins as tender words and gentle kindnesses take on the bleakness of loss, depression and a ruptured life. Anyone who has faced the numbing reality of death knows that soothing words and kindness is deeply appreciated, but they seldom win the fight. Nothing that anyone says or does can really, fully, heal the hurt, fill the lonely nights, or brighten the bitter fury of a broken heart.
For that, at least two other things are needed.
The first is revelation!
When revelation ignites the perception that the great God of all Glory whose sovereign, omnipotent power holds the planets in rhythm, who balances the tiny specks of dust that linger in a sunbeam, who governs all human history and even hears our ragged, restless thoughts, (“before a word is on my tongue, Thou knowest it altogether” – Psalm 139), that this great, good God, whose Name is YHWH, who is perfect in love, and whose holiness determines the limits of His mercy and the heat of His wrath; when by revelation I know that this unfathomable, infinite, good, astounding, blindingly enthralling, stunning God has by His personal “lovingness” converted the vast abstraction of Faith and His nature into one delicate word - “Abba” - then such a revelation enables a shredded soul to lift with trembling fingers the pain of grief into adoration and worship, and so feel again a holy peace settle on his brimming brokenness. Ah, Abba, yourself “acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53) You truly are “the God of all comfort”.
Such a revelation of one word, just one word made vivid in the heart, and my murky understanding is washed with light and warmth and succour, and my day is polished again to shining, my brain imprinted with peace. Oh for revelation of just one word. ABBA!
The second thing needed is time.
Time paints the scars, paints new revelation with new color. Time, Revelation, Kindness in words and actions ……. These three should be sought and practised now, while it is day. They will be needed by us all soon enough.
Truly the sweetness of my God.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger
and abounding in compassion and