Loss touches all of us in one season or another.
This week, many of my tribe have found themselves struggling to stay aright in the rush of it’s tide.
Dear ones watched the waters rising steadily over days and months and years. They knew what was coming and readied themselves by loving fully and with complete abandon. Other dear ones found their feet swept from beneath them, ripped away by the unexpected current in one fast and furious moment. Each one so brave, toeing uncertain ground as they feel out their new place and rhythm amid the swirling blues and blacks and greens.
Others, like me, wrest the returning tide. We have come to expect it, and the foamy waves are tempered by grace and years now. But still the waters churn.
Their loss, and my own, weighs heavy tonight.
I don’t know why two sweet friends will wake up tomorrow without the husbands they loved so long and well.
Or why a different friend will face tomorrow without her mom.
I don’t know why Rebecca must ache for her Elijah.
Or why we were only given a few short minutes with our own daughter.
I don’t know why the one who made me a Mama isn’t here. Or why she and I must worship the Son from different sides of eternity.
But I do know the One Who sees and holds us in our sorrow.
He, too, knows the ache of loss. The swell of grief that can throttle a throat and silence a voice. The finality of death and the constant sting of separation.
Imagine Him standing there near the foot of the cross, close enough to reach out and touch His Jesus. Eyes locked on the Savior’s face, how His own chest would have labored as His breathing sped and slowed to match the uneven gasps of His Son.
Imagine Him as He watched His perfect, precious One be falsely accused. Beaten, and ridiculed. Abandoned. He heard and felt every lash of the whip. He winced with every shard of glass that tore divine flesh. He watched Him as the very people He was dying for callously strung Him up between criminals, paying no heed to holy hands and feet.
Can you see it? The pride in His eyes as He witnessed the interaction between Jesus and the criminals beside Him. Can you hear His sharp intake of breath and see His hand involuntarily reach out as the words claw their way out of the Son, “Why have You forsaken me?”
And the deep, wrenching sobs that threatened to well up within the Father as the Light of the world slipped into darkness.
A couple of months following our daughter’s death, I found myself echoing that cry. I was utterly alone, hours from home and driving away from the funeral home with our daughter’s ashes in a cold little pewter heart on the car seat beside me.
There was no doubt in my mind that our Tiny was dancing, laughing and worshiping the very same Light who died on the cross, and I was overjoyed that she got to skip this mess of life and pain and instead experience all that He has for us for eternity, but ya’ll? My mama-heart
was is sad. Just like His Father-heart was sad.
He created that capacity to grieve within us. But through His own loss, He also made a way for us to have Hope. When faced with loss that would threaten to drag us under and toss us about, we have this hope as an anchor for our souls.
Whatever we are facing today, we can rest in the fact that He knows us intimately. He designed us. He knows exactly what we are feeling, because He Himself has felt it. He knows what we are facing, because He Himself has faced it.
And no matter what happens, He will not let us go.