Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When Grace Reaches the Crevices of Our Hurting Souls

The moments that stun us, when we beg life's realities to melt into oblivion, is when God's grace ALONE will permeate ever hurting crevice.

Yesterday, I reeled as I heard the news that some friends of ours son was tragically killed in a car accident. It is the news that no parents ever want to hear but often wonders if they will hear. It is news that tears at the soul with no instructions on how to ever be whole again.

Though I have never lost a child, my mother and father have outlived a son, my brother, Eddie - who died at the age of 40. I remember vividly standing at the casket beside my mother. Her sudden cry impassioned with sorrow that I had never heard before from her rendered me useless, speechless, and unable to stay by her side less I, too, began the mournful sounds. So, I quietly left her with my dad and went to the bathroom, shaking physically and emotionally with a grief I could not bear to recognize.I became painfully aware that I could not help my mother at that moment. I HAD to leave her with the Grace Giver.

So often when people suffer, we stay away from them for various reasons. Sometimes we just don't know what to say, so we don't go. Or we go and say too much. Get too preachy. Or talk about our own sufferings or how something like that almost happened to us. But if you have ever read the book of Job, it becomes evident early on that Job's friend should have just sat with their mouths closed as they did at first. When they first saw Job, they were overwhelmed with his suffering - and there were no words.

Only when they opened their mouths, in response to Job's raw conversation with himself and God, did they feel the need to take Job's emotions in hand. Grief can do crazy things to people. It also can be scary to watch. And the process is different for everyone.

Perhaps I will elaborate a little more on the practical side of reaching out to those who are experiencing unexplainable pain and sorrow in the next writing.

Meanwhile, know this. God is the Grace Giver. Sometimes that means He asks us to come alongside someone and endure the painful process with them for a while. But, it soon becomes evident even then, that there are some places we simply cannot go with the grieving person. They must be left with the Grace Giver. He alone consumes a brittle, bruised, agonizing soul with a grace that pours itself into every crevice.