Suffering. It’s universal. We all suffer. Even Christ suffered; I would say more than any human could ever imagine. How do we deal with suffering? How do we rationalize the very idea of suffering? What do you say to someone in pain? Someone so hurt by circumstances they would hurl themselves into brush full of thorns. Someone so hurt by loss they would wail to the point of nearly fainting. What do you do? How do you help? Where is the hope?
A family in our Masai community lost a loved one: a brother…a son. I am not a mother, and I can’t even begin to understand what it must feel like to lose your son. I am a sister, but I have been fortunate to have never experienced the loss of a brother. I’ve lost loved ones: my grandfathers…my grandmothers…cousins…other extended relatives. There has been intense grief, but I’ve never felt so compelled by grief to inflict physical pain upon myself. Is this just a cultural difference? Is this a result of knowing my loved one’s were eternally secure? Is America so detached from truth we no longer feel real grief?
I’ve never seen friends and family rally together as I have seen this family and community come together. No sympathy cards. No covered dishes. No, “I’m sorry” and then just walk away. Here…they cook…they clean…they stay…they care. It may not all make sense. I’m boggled by it in many ways. Some of the things they say such as: “Stop crying. No more tears.” I don’t understand…but then again…friends are washing the families clothes…friends are gathering massive amounts of firewood…friends are spending the night to care for the family…friends are donating to pay for services…
It’s community. It’s caring. It’s grieving in their own way. No detached cards to keep you from having to feel something…no casserole to send which will freeze beautifully…genuine caring for one another.
As followers of Christ, we have a hope. A hope for all eternity. This family…they have hope. Not many here do, but this family does. While they grieve, they know God is sovereign in all things…even in death. They hurt for the loss, but rejoice in the knowledge their loved one is no longer suffering from physical deterioration…no…their loved one is praising God…in His very presence praising our Heavenly King!
We can endure because we have a hope. No matter the suffering…we can endure because He endured. It is through our suffering and endurance that we become more and more like Him.
I grieve with my friends here, but I celebrate with them as well; for their son/brother is with our Lord and Savior! Won’t you grieve and rejoice with us?