Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zenonline/3365196275/
Are people who possess a strong faith immune to brokenness? Can one really find joy in EVERYTHING? Or is brokenness the best kept secret in the church today?
A pastor was encouraging those planning to attend the memorial service for a young man who had recently been killed to wear bright colors and come with the attitude of celebrating his life.
Viewing memory boards, listening to personal testimonies, and taking part in the life celebration can be very uplifting, but the healing process actually begins with the honest acknowledgment of loss.
Let’s not forget that when the celebration is over, there is always someone left behind to pick up the mess. While most will return to a normal life, that young man’s family will struggle to establish a new normal without him.
I guarantee you they will suffer through a silent agony in the months and years ahead. Silent because people of faith are supposed to demonstrate strength—The LORD is my strength and shield—to admit otherwise could be taken as a sign of weak faith, right?
Today we can find preachers promising us the strength to be wealthy, happy, and influential. If I didn’t know better I’d think that Christianity was nothing more than a self-help program.
Considering all that hype, I guess that’s why church can at times be the most intimidating place to admit our brokenness? Believers are expected to demonstrate some kind of unnatural calm and inner serenity.
Its possible that a very important reality is being overlooked: How do we live with and love someone their entire life and not have their death hurt—it’s supposed to hurt. We receive the strength from God to endure hardships, not ignore them.
Instead of making them out to be strong examples of faith; maybe grieving people would be better served if we simply gave them permission to be broken. Try handing them a Kleenex.
“Sometimes silence speaks loudest and presence brings the most comfort” ~ WM. Paul Young – Cross Roads