Words of Hope: Worth the Pain

I have been missing Dad so much lately. I walked by a neighborhood bench where he liked to sit and pray and shocked myself by bursting into tears. They came without warning. A friend of mine who was one of Dad’s closest friends was in the middle of an animated story and made a facial expression just like Dad. I burst out in tears totally unexpectedly yet again. I called Jay and he is also surprised at how much we miss Dad. I knew it would hurt but not this much. It makes me a bit depressed thinking about my other close relationships especially Shann. I consider how death is a certainty. This fear of the pain of grief, triggers in me a desire to protect myself–to store up against this pain that robs me like a famine. This is a godless response and I know it. God sent manna, the bread from heaven, every day for the Israelites to pick up and eat. They could not store it. I cannot store up grace, or joy, or hope. I must seek these daily. Living as a defensive posture against pain is no way to live. I must love fully, I must participate fully. A muted life is not real life. I consider Jesus-weeping over Lazarus, agonizing in the garden and suffering on the cross. I have heard grief is the purest form of love. Loss is the perfect word to describe the death of a loved one. I consider the physical loss of my dad and long for just one more hand hold, one more conversation, one more meal around the table, one more word of encouragement. This loss would be overwhelming without Christ who promises love eternal. Yes, love costs me everything, even comfort from pain. But love is more than worth the price. Dad was worthy of every drop of my love and appreciation. I don’t begrudge it. I don’t withhold it from my friends and family knowing the pain of loss will be devasting. I give it freely knowing that God will provide.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. – Ephesians 5:1–2