The Pot of Grief and the Hot Truth of Death
A friend has died.
We dip the cup of suffering into the deep well of who we are.
We draw out some of our selves and commit it to the Pot of Grief.
The Hot Truth of Death is before us.
Our friend has died.
One day, it will be our turn.
We are all going to die.
As the Pot of Grief connects and rests on this Hot Truth, emotions and wonderings swirl around, tumbling over each other, taking turns to bubble to the surface.
Anger, denial, sadness, regrets, fears, shame, happy memories, appreciation, compensations, acceptance, faith, the hope of heaven, the confusion of a loving God in the midst of a horrible death, anger, denial, the comfort of a loving God who is with us whatever we go through, acceptance, sadness, round and round.
We dip the cup and draw from the boiling pot, and drink the heady mix of confused emotions.
It scalds all the way down and becomes a new part of who we are. We are different.
Somehow the after taste is bitter but with hints of sweetness.
Faith, hope and love endure.
As much as the Hot Truth of Death glows and calls for our attention, before long other truths beckon too. Mundane truths. Beautiful truths. Ordinary truths.
I have to go to work tomorrow. There’s a report to get in. I have to get something from the shops. The sky looks beautiful today. Our family is coming over on the week end. What’s for tea tonight? We will see them again in heaven. They are free from their suffering at last. Where did I leave the car keys?
The grief has been incorporated into who we are. It comes with us as we do our tour around daily reality. It circulates with us too as we slip into the ethereal. It nods and shakes hands with our beliefs, hopes and questions.
We remember our friend. Life goes on. Both these things become good.
Life goes on.
That’s a glowing truth too.
Life is good – mainly – for me.
I have loved ones around me.
I have worthwhile things to achieve.
I will die one day. But not yet. I will catch up with my friend in that better place. Not yet though. I have good things to do still.
I will choose, by discipline and effort, to live this life to the fullest.
Read John 11 v 1 – 53 Reflect on the compassion, the capacities and the cost involved in this story.
Reflect on the disappointment that Mary, Martha and others had because Jesus hadn’t been there for them in the way they had hoped. Can you relate to that disappointment?
Reflect on the fact that in the end, Mary and Martha were given what they wanted in ways beyond their imaginations. Jesus turned their sorrow in to joy. Can you relate to the experience of feeling that Jesus had let you down – but then he eventually came through for you?
Jesus asked a great deal of his friends by holding back from coming to them on their timetable to help them. It pushed their trust in him. What do you make of that?