The ancient truths are the trustworthy ones. Here are three important truths about “the mystery of mourning”:
WE MUST LEARN TO EMBRACE OUR HURT BEFORE WE BID IT GOODBYE
Despite what our grief denying culture might proclaim, one cannot really say “goodbye” until you first say “hello.” The time for theological profundities, philosophical explanations, scriptural exegesis, and Hallmark cards comes later—after the tears flow and the stories are told. There is a reason that before baptism there is heartfelt repentance.
GOD’S GREATEST HEROES ARE GOD’S GREATEST SUFFERERS
In our culture (and in our churches) we don’t really want to hear the stories of loss, only stories of victory. But in this world, we agree with the apostle Paul “we see through the glass darkly.” Ultimate meanings and God’s purposes are often hidden. Pearls are not produced without the wound. I seek out “pearls.” Wounded healers are the ones to whom I draw near.
You must go backward before you go forward.
To understand ourselves we must hear ourselves tell our own stories (thus the value of counseling or of a true friend). Elie Wiesel said, "if you seek a spark you will find it in the ashes." Dr. Alan Wofelt said, "We must listen to the music of the past to sing in the present and dance into the future."
We want our church to be our dance partner as we limp through the dark nights and as we step into the dawn.