By contributing writer Ami:
I watched her greet person after person, carried along by evident grace. She wanted it to be a celebration instead of a funeral. And indeed, the atmosphere buzzed with the hum of conversation while folks enjoyed dinner and dessert. Pictures of a life well-lived dotted the scene.
From across the room her eye caught mine. And in the span of a heart beat, she was in my arms collapsing under the weight of her sobs.
Without words, we stood that way for a long time. I held her tightly and cried with her.
“I know I can let it all out with you.”
Yes, dear one. It’s ok to weep and grieve even amidst a celebration of life.
Three years earlier, the same lady was at the hospital when my life shattered, and I collapsed into her arms.
We had been alone in the emergency room, Jon and I. But he went into cardiac arrest, and I knew I needed someone to come. Looking down at my phone, there was her contact information. I touched the screen, not completely conscious of who I was calling.
She was there when I finally gave a doctor permission to stop trying to save my husband’s life.
It was in her arms that I silently prayed, “Yes Lord, He’s yours. I give him back to you.”
Two lives intertwined through the deepest of moments.
But now I was on the other side of the sob.
I can’t say I was fully prepared to dive down deep with her, or that her weeping didn’t recreate a dozen vivid images in my mind.
And I can’t say I expected she would let her composure crack and the waves overtake her. But I’m glad she did. For there was grace to greet person after person. And there was grace to weep.
I’m thankful she felt totally safe. And I’m thankful I could share the weeping with her.
On the other side of the sob, you realize a few things:
I know some suffering, that I may be able to suffer with others.
I know redemption in the midst and on the other side of the storms.
I have been deeply comforted.
Praise God for beauty out of ashes.
His plans and purposes are immensely beautiful.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so the we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” I Corinthians 1:3-5
Comfort—the result of resting in God’s sovereignty and loving rule over my life.
Peace— not free from troubles, but a profound sense of well being because God is in control.
The one who collapsed, could uphold another. I could look her in the eye and say:
It’s ok to weep.
It’s ok to ask questions.
Cling to Christ.
“You won’t believe me now, but one day it will be better. It may be a long time, but one day you’ll want to live again.”
Jesus turns suffering into unspeakable joy.