Yesterday, we took our neighbours to some of our favourite hangout spots to give her a change of scenery. She has been holed up in the house since coming back from her father’s funeral which is very understandable. Most of us have gone through grief and each one has to deal with it in their own different way.
He has been trying hard to know how to deal with her grief but it’s hard to know what to do or what to say without avoiding the topic altogether and pretend it does not exist while trying to be sensitive. She’s always the bubbly one, always with a smile on her face and friendly to everyone so it is very difficult to see her in a depressed state. I am only thankful he is here and was here when all this happened. It would have been horrid if she had been alone or is alone now.
The times when I had gone through grief, I know it was only God’s love and grace that had pulled me out of it and healed me. There comes a point, thankfully, that as the spirit wars with the flesh, we need to decide to choose to stay in our flesh (keep grieving and forget that there is a hope) or to walk in the spirit (grieve knowing that our hope is in Jesus and that as we keep trusting Him, we will eventually heal. Not forget, but heal, so we can keep on living and remember, while not carrying around the debilitating pain of that remembrance). It was a profound grief that brought me back to Jesus’ feet when I had chosen for years to walk separately away from Him.
A grief that had led to the beginnings of depression, wherein I had no hope in anything that anyone had to offer anymore. It is interesting that when I think back to that time, I had everything materially and lacked nothing, yet, there was this hole inside of me that was there, like a void, that was screaming out for something, for a reprieve, for something other than the regular, acceptable, expected routine that I had thought was life. I thank God for His Word that never returns void, I thank God that His Holy Spirit will bring things to remembrance when I need it and I thank Him that He never stopped loving me even when I had decided He wasn’t real or even that He existed anymore.
Crying out to God from the depths of my heart was like a release of all that I had locked up inside of me. It was my last resort, like Princess Leia said to Obiwan Kenobi in Star Wars through her holographic image, “You’re my last hope.” God was my last hope. I had exhausted all that I knew, all that I could pay for, all that supposedly could help me. If God could not help me, then I was doomed.
Funny how bible verses long forgotten from my adolescent years came to mind then. Funny how God just came and how His presence was so tangible. So comforting. In the midst of the void that I was in, He was there. He was real. He never left me, even when I had left Him. That was my first step on the road to healing and so much more. Was that the only time I have cried out to Him from the depths of my innermost being? No. That first cry only showed me how much I needed Him, how much I cannot do without Him, how much He needs to be my everything. Have I cried out to Him from my innermost being since? You bet. So many times I cannot remember. And I will continue to do so, because I can do nothing apart from Him.
He kept showing me how much I could trust Him even when I doubted so much. He kept showing me He would take care of me and still does even when I mess up so badly. He kept showing me how He could and can when I cannot. I look back at the times I have grieved and remember times when I had sat on cold kitchen floors leaned up against kitchen appliances bawling my heart out and I am amazed at how He has made this heart whole so many times over.
And this is what I want for my neighbour and others who grieve. I want them to know the only One who can heal them and make them whole. I have nothing to offer anyone on my own, not even things I can buy and give if I had all the money in the world, or my talents to teach someone to do something. I can only give temporary relief. All I have to give them of myself cannot bind up their brokenness, make them see again, set them free from their prison walls nor give them hope.
There is only one who can do that. One who came to give us of Himself freely should we choose to accept and cry out to Him from our innermost beings. Healer. Liberator. Redeemer. Saviour. Light of the World. Hope for the hopeless. Prince of Peace. Son of God.
His name is Jesus.