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For the ones we miss

This has been a week when I have encountered grief and bereavement- both in my personal experience and in the experience of loved one, friends and colleagues who have lost loved ones. These days of the disruption of pandemia mean that funerals are not what they were just a few short weeks ago, leaving us without our customary rituals of passing and leaving many of us us too without a chance to say goodbye. 

Grief hurts. There is no getting away from that fact. It hurts. And there is precious little that can be done to lessen that hurt, less that can be done to take it away. In these moments of encountering my own and others’ grief, I am minded to think about how Jesus was in the face of his grief. We are told, in the shortest verse in the Gospels in John 11:35, that when he learned of his friend Lazarus’ death, ‘Jesus wept’. Now Jesus knew that death is not the end and he knew that Lazarus would rise from the dead upon his word, so why did he weep? I like to think he wept for Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus and themselves good friends of Jesus. He wept knowing the hurt they were going through.

Perhaps he still weeps for us when we are bereaved. I like to think he does. And so, a poem…

Missed Ones

God made flesh,

Knew grief.

Tears fell for Lazarus’ sisters.

Jesus wept.

 

And he knows still,

What it is,

To weep for someone,

So special,

So dear,

As to be irreplaceable.

 

And so,

He holds them,

All the closer,

Giving them,

The tender hugs,

We would,

We wish we could.

 

And we will,

In the fullness,

Of time,

When Lazarus, Jesus, you and I,

Weep no more.

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