Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thoughts about death and mourning

Yeah, nobody is dying here...

But my sister is writing a novel about losing  a baby, and i just read the sample Wisdom Booklet online, whose theme is "Mourning Requires Visualization", and i guess i'm just thinking...

When we lost our little baby, i drove around, and wished i had someone who would understand.  My husband was distressed, partly just for me, i know.

Much later, when his grandfather died, it gave me comfort to picture my little one, safe in her great-Opa's arms.  It seemed unthinkable to me that Opa could be there and not find her and love her.

and i felt God laugh and me and say "what about Me?"

Of course, God is there, and she is safe with Him.

But this is what I think was behind my thoughts.  the saints in the book of Revelation, who are beneath His throne.  Begging to be revenged and given justice and satisfaction, and God is telling them... wait.

That doesn't jibe with what i want to believe about Heaven, which is that once we die, there is a timelapse moment, and it's all over for everyone else, and only good things happen.  Time passes for those martyrs in Heaven, and even they, up there, are waiting....  That makes me catch my breath.  Because what of my tiny one, my never held treasure?  Is she waiting, too?

Mourning does require visualization.  I agree with Mr. Gothard.  It gave me comfort to visualize my little one in her Opa's arms, and also in the arms of Jesus.  But those other visual pictures that come from the Bible, and therefore must be true, are less comforting.

I wrote a song when i was away at music college, confident in His love and leading.  It was a watershed year for me and for my faith - where i really experienced God's hand and presence, felt His breath, and was changed for the rest of my life.  In that song i wrote "when in times of honest need, have i ever felt deceived? God is wisdom, God is good.  I can trust my Father's love'

And i know it's true, i know He is all of those things - and i know i can trust Him.  But I also know that what looks like need to me He doesn't always see that way - so many times it's been my attitude, rather than my situation that He's adjusted.  I have not found in God a comfortable theology to lay back and grow fat in - rather, it is something alive and active, something challenging and iconoclastic, as He breaks the idols i didn't know i held, and makes me think in a different way.

I am so much less likely to have an immediate judgment than i was, and open to learning.  But sometimes i long for the simple visual.  And when it comes to my sin, He is very able to give me that visual so that i can mourn with Godly mourning over my own shortcomings.  In withholding a simple picture of my child, i wonder if that's His way of standing in the way, so that instead of sorrow, i see only Him.

Jasper hike-0046

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