June 23, 2008

A Note To "Random"

Dear Random,

I noticed that you took your blog down today. I know it wasn't yesterday because that is when I last left a message. I can only conclude that your latest pain filled posting was, and is, a matter of current grief. What is one to say to someone in this situation? I could offer you platitudes like, "Time will make this better," or "This will make sense someday," but I refuse to devalue the depth and reality of your grief. Instead I can only offer you words of hope from my decidedly, and unapologetically, Christ-centered worldview.

God is there. I understand that you may well be shaking your fist at him in rage right now. I assure you that it is not the first time. As George Bernanos said in Diary of a Country Priest, "Shake you fist at Him, spit in His face, scourge Him and finally crucify Him; what does it matter? My daughter, it's already been done to Him." Shout at the heavens honestly ventilating the heavings of your heart and though it may seem there is a deafening silence returned for your troubles, be assured there is One who hears and knows.

God knows grief. "He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; as one from whom men hide their faces" (Isa. 53:3) At the cross, pain is not eliminated, but it is stared down. If you have difficulty believing that God is truly with us look not to the manger, neither look to the mauseleum, rather look to the cross. It is there that God decisively and with astounding finality says "I am with you and I am for you not against you." He chose to endure the pain. That is something you didn't do but you are discovering, much to your dismay, that pain has been thrust upon you univited. Imagine inviting it. This is exactly what God in Christ has done. He knows grief.

God is with you. Though you may desire Him to be far from you He is, in fact, very near to you. Scripture states, "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) It is entirely up to you to decide whether to turn toward Him or away from Him. He will not force Himself upon you, even in this your moment of greatest grief. He is far too much a gentleman to force His love upon you. Even so, He patiently and longingly waits to comfort you. "So long as there is pain the Comforter walks beside us." (Calvin Miller)

Random, please know that there is one shepherd who prays for you during these days. Your voice will be missed. I hope to hear it again joined to the chorus of those who believe.

Blessings in your grief.



Paul said...

I hope Random will read your beautiful words, John. And there is a world of people out there who also need to hear that God knows about our desperation and that He cares, because He is the perfect Father.

Mike said...

These words are full of love and care. I hope Random reads and thinks on them