I began a draft of this post a few months ago while I was reading Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray. At that time, I thought the quote below worth sharing. But in late August, I was shocked to learn of the death of the son of a friend of mine. He was a great kid with a promising future and he passed away at the age of 23.
The recent experience with death made the quote below even more poignant.
“. . . we too often fail to reckon with the grim reality of death and are composed in its presence not because of faith but because of hardened insensitivity . . .” – John Murray
It is too easy to hold the reality of death from penetrating my thoughts. I have experienced the hardened insensitivity of which John Murray speaks.
In contrast to this, I am reminded of the response of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus.
By more deeply connecting with the reality of death and the separation that it brings, we can then more deeply experience peace in the conquest over death that Jesus accomplished on our behalf.
By more deeply connecting with the reality of death and the separation that it brings, I can be of better use to those who are deeply impacted by death. Hardened insensitivity does no-one any good. Pretending that death does not bring pain renders me useless in the situation.
I am reminded that the experience of peace may not immediately follow the experience of the reality of death. It is unrealistic to think that someone who is caught up in the loss of a loved one will find peace without going through a process of grieving. And that process takes time and is accomplished with uneven progress.
My point is that there is a difference between being numb and being peaceful. Perhaps the only path toward becoming peaceful in the presence of death is to avoid insensitivity and be fully present in the loss.
Jesus wept when Lazarus died. It’s OK if we weep also.