Sometimes in life we receive information we don’t want to hear. We didn’t see it coming, and it throws us off our feet and changes the way we view the world.
It becomes the last thing we think about at night, and is the first thing to cross our mind in the morning.
There is a period of stillness and quiet when our eyes first open, and then we remember. It comes rushing over us. It’s the feeling and the knowledge that something big has happened in our world.
But the funny thing is, the rest of the world is moving on like normal. You look out your window and see the cars driving by and hear the familiar sound of birds singing. Everything looks just as it did before the news entered your life and everything went all topsy turvy, but nothing feels the same. At least for you.
Sometimes the news comes in the form of an abnormal test, or lab result. Maybe it’s in the form of a diagnosis. Other times it’s when you reside in the waiting place, where someone you love is terminal, but you don’t know how long. And you don’t know when. But suddenly, the most important thing in the world is to be with them as much as you can. To hear their voice and look in their eyes. You don’t want to waste a moment. Not one.
And then there are the times when we receive the call and fall to our knees while tears that seem too big for the smallness of our eyes come pouring in streams because someone we love has taken their final breath. Someone we love has left the world.
And we can’t imagine living without them, but we know we must go on. Even though the world keeps moving and spinning and people are getting their coffees and mowing their yards, it all feels different inside.
The world will never be quite the same for us.
Friends, we have all had those moments.
Moments of bad news and loss that cuts so deep. Moments of anxiety and moments of waiting. Times when we don’t know if we have days, or weeks, or months, or years with someone we love.
And we keep moving on and we keep going forward. And we cry and we scream and we hug those we love a little tighter and for a little longer.
Gratitude and grief come flooding in as we thank God for every moment we have and simultaneously grieve the little time that is left.
I remember after my friend Emily passed, as I sat crying on a chair in the corner of the funeral parlor, someone approached me and made a comment about how I shouldn’t be crying, but instead rejoicing because she was no longer in pain and she was in heaven. At the time, I felt a little guilty for my tears. Why wasn’t I more happy for her?
Since then, I have found great solace and comfort from John 11:35. A verse in the Bible containing just two words. Two powerful words that show the humanness and the compassion of our Lord. “Jesus wept.”
He knew He would raise his friend, Lazarus, from the dead and He knew He would see him again, yet He was so overcome with grief and sadness and all of the emotions that come when we know someone we love has left the world, that He didn’t just cry – He wept. .
This brings me an incredible amount of comfort. He knows what we are going through because He lived. Fully God and fully man. Our Perfect Father who knew He was going to raise His friend from the dead still grieved.
He still wept.
We all have these moments in our life. Times when we receive information that changes our world. And unless we are close to someone, we may never know if someone we encounter is going through something like this. So, if someone cuts us off on the road, or seems aloof at the ballgame, let’s offer kindness and a smile.
Because maybe, just maybe, they received news they weren’t expecting. Maybe they are looking at the ballgame that feels so familiar and at the same time deep down are processing that their world will never quite be the same.