“He is many things to many people, but He may not be the God of all comfort to you until you are in trouble. Loss of a dear one is a trouble, a big trouble. ”
My emotional reputation friends have not agreed with
Let me be frank from the start, I am not emotional. I don’t know why friends find that difficult to agree with. That I shed tears once in a while shouldn’t make it hard to believe that I am not. For instance, it is not every time that I hear about the passing of people dear to me that I cry, so you see I am not emotional. Now I know you as the reader have reasons to agree with me and you won’t be emotional with your conclusion as my friends are.
Thoughts on happenings of the previous week
In the days prior to this writing, an acquaintance notified me, not in person but in a group of the passing of his mother. It felt first like a movie, the person himself said it was like a dream and he hardly could recognise the body of the mum. I felt a connection and immediately felt the enormity of the loss.
Why did I feel like that? I am not emotional. I don’t even know the woman other than the fact that I have seen her picture at one point or the other, looking all good and energetic. I really felt something that makes the loss like it is personal.
Who knows who is next?
The guy is humorous and sweetly naughty to be around, so I assume the mum will probably be a sweet mother also. So being sweet does not immune a person from sudden death right? I probably felt what Dorcas’ neighbours felt when she suddenly died. Her nicety didn’t shield her when death came calling.
I also remember the widow of Nain. Death did not show pity and oh how piteous her situation was. Her only family, her son was taken in his prime.
Why am I feeling this way? Could it be because I have also seen patients come in as emergency, I have privilege of attending to a few. Some do not have any scientific and medical reason to survive and they still survived, some came with something others are being treated for or have been treated for, so you think they have a good chance of survival and before some of their simple exam results are ready, they have gone.
This man came, bundled in as it were but not in a doubtful condition for recovery and in few hours is gone. Gone where? I don’t know, maybe hell maybe heaven. Maybe to a place of total unconsciousness until the resurrection to life or eternal damnation. Gone where? Definitely not to his house here on earth. Of course not into the loving arms of his darling wife or to the tranquillity of witnessing the growth of beautiful children.
Since you reader will not be emotional, you will probably have a better explanation for that feeling.
Will you cry and should you cry? Cry
Will you cry? If you lost something irreplaceable, I think a cry is in order. Should you cry? Should you not? Abeg cry. If you do not cry you will not enjoy the cooling effect of tears on the cheek, neither will you see the wonder of them drying off. If you have people who can, you might also see the extension of napkins and tissues. If you do not weep how will you know there can be a shoulder to lean on and weep upon? So cry. What you should not do is to cry endlessly, as if that is possible. When true believers die, our loss becomes heaven’s gain so we don’t cry like people whose hope starts and ends on this earth and only while breath remains in the nostrils. But if the person is surely an unbeliever and who has lived constantly against God and His Son Jesus Christ, you may extend your time of grieve because your loss is multiplied for if you live according to God’s will, you may never meet again. Case closed, end of hope. Will you cry? You should.
Condoling the bereaved
It is wiser to associate with the house of mourning than a house of celebration. The original source actually did not say associate as it were but to be there in the house of mourning. How do you go to this house even though you wished you could when the place is as far as the East is from the West? Well, with a continuous step in the right direction, East will meet with the West. Thank God for the internet of things, while you may not be in the house of grief, you may associate with the house of mourning.
While it is good to be in the house of mourning, what is done while you are there is more important than being in the house. Don’t be a miserable sympathiser. This is easier said than done when there is no understanding, but with understanding, it is both easy to say and do.
What is needed may only be a listening ear, a sensitive touch and a deep sigh once in a while.
If there is a place to seriously practice being quick to listen and slow to speak, it certainly will be the house of mourning.
If you think you have to say something, say sorry. If you must pray, maybe you should simply ask God to be with the bereaved. But be careful when you feel like saying words like “be strong”. It is easier said, but it may not be needed and may even grief the bereaved more.
To the bereaved, you may need to keep this in mind, likewise if you are not yet bereaved:
Comfort doesn’t come when the crowd of sympathizers are still around, wait till they are gone
The only way you will not be bereaved in your lifetime is if you are deceased before you are.
While some form of comfort and solace in the fact that you are not alone is possible when the crowd is around, true comfort comes later.
You may be helped because people are around you now, but be sure that you are almost alone. Knowing that it is a phase and the crowd will soon disperse may help your recovery. Nobody, can fill the vacuum the exit of your loved one has left, and with carefulness at not being blasphemous, not even God. God is God. He is father to the fatherless, but He is also father to those who have father, in fact, He is the father of fathers. So God is not your father or mother who died and will not become that replacement for you. He has always been your all and He wants you to see Him more clearly howbeit in the new reality of your loss.
Be strong, but not for yourself
When I was thinking about this acquaintance of mine, I started thinking if he will recover quickly knowing he has many things to do. He loves children so I said to myself this guy needs to be strong. I won’t tell him that, but I know he has to be strong. Not for himself, by the way he is old enough and can make his own decisions (this does not validate the loss of parents just because we are now mature) but for his children. Probably some of those children have lost one or both their parents and maybe some will soon lose them. He now has the justification to teach them about loss and recovery, about death and resurrection that he doesn’t have before. The major benefit is that he can now comfort others from the wealth of comfort he has received and will still receive.
Enters the God of all Comfort.
You need troubles, trials and tribulations for you to stand in the need of comfort. So if you are bereaved, sad and grieving you are the most qualified person for the God of all comfort. God is the all in all and the All sufficient. He is many things to many people, but He may not be the God of all comfort to you until you are in trouble. Loss of a dear one is a trouble, a big trouble. God has always associated closely with people in big troubles, so you also qualify for God to be God of all comfort to you.
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 tribulation, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, by means of the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Because just as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.