The most popular question by far, following a loved ones funeral, is “how ya doin’? (concerned look)”. I appreciate it. And here’s how I answer that question:
Well, it’s not easy, but it’s okay. It’s been a tough run. The good part is that we had some quality time with Mom to laugh, cry, plan, ask and hear. Lots of people don’t get that kind of luxury. Best of all, she’s in heaven. And we’ll see her again someday.
Of course, this is the answer that adrenaline gives. And, of course, its okay. Biologically speaking, everything is okay right now, since my body has put me into some kind of “just go” trance that keeps my arms and legs moving while I stare at the horizon.
I have been thinking about the death of Jesus, given that we are in the season of Easter. After his resurrection, Jesus catches up with a couple of his disciples, morning His death as they walk down a dirt path, perhaps running on the same adrenaline that I am now. Jesus sneaks up and walks beside them. The disciples don’t know that it is the Man, risen. Jesus, disguised as some random walker, asks why they’re so sad. He listens as they answer a question that He already knows the answer to, both because He is God and because He is the one they’re talking about. Suddenly, their eyes are opened, and not long after that the stranger on the road ascends.
Here’s what I find fascinating: Jesus doesn’t ease their pain. He lets them pour their sadness out to a divinely disguised stranger. He doesn’t bust out a magic wand (does He have one?) and go >POOF<, you're okay now, it's me, etc. He lets them dwell in sadness, as if that's what we're supposed to do. It's another case of God could, but He doesn't, so why is that and what am I supposed to learn?
I should add that what I learn is not the primary motive behind God's actions. The primary motive behind God's actions are to bring glory to Himself. It seems pretty egotistical, insensitive and self-serving, but that's because we know our own hearts. If I try to bring glory to myself, its in vain, since I know that I'm messed up and that I don't deserve it. But God does. So it is fitting for my faith in Him to be deepened during a time of tragedy. See 1 Peter 1:3-9, which helped me out quite a bit this week.
It's okay, says the guy whose arms and legs are moving normally while his eyes search for what cannot be seen.