6/22/11

finding the courage to mourn

We are still in the first few verses of the Sermon on the Mount- and that's fine with me. I guess we aren't in a hurry to get it all learned or memorized, and there is something so good about letting verses just stew in your mind. This one, in particular, has me stewing.

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

It's not an unfamiliar verse really, and often quoted at funerals and memorial services. But lately it has struck me differently.

It all started when I was sorting through our book shelves and came across Terrify No More by Gary Haugen. This is such a good book, I thought, why did we stop reading it? And then I remembered that it was so heavy, and was difficult to sit at the end of the day with your own junk pushing down on you, and then read about the Christian's responsibility to fight evil and protect the innocent.

I began to think of other things that I have stopped reading because it seemed so weighty, things like The Voice of the Martyrs Magazine. And then I thought of movies that I've never watched because I don't want to see them or engage that reality, movies like Precious and Hotel Rwanda.

This shying away from discomfort can also be found when a friend calls or writes from jail. Oh gosh, I have to brace myself to really engage and enter into the difficulty of that friend's situation.

I guess what it boils down to is this: I don't like to mourn. I don't want to grieve. I know that evil is out there and rampant in our world; I just don't want to think about it during my "free time".

But now I feel like Christ is calling me, telling me that if I would only mourn with the things I read and see, He would offer me comfort. If I would engage the ugliness of the world, perhaps the hope and power of the Cross would be more critical to my existence. And I would be blessed.

The more that I mourn, the more I will grow in my need for His comfort.

The more that I mourn, the less I will lose perspective in my own trials.

The more that I mourn, the more I imitate Christ in His choice to bear the burdens of others.

The more that I mourn, the less I shelter myself from truth.

The more that I mourn, the more I can really love and pray for my fellow believers who live in unspeakable conditions.

The more that I mourn, the less I will live for myself.


Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

I hope my children will grow into adults who don't aspire to comfort, but who aspire to truly mourn and be comforted. Such a profound difference.

And I think that starts with me.  May God give me the courage to mourn.

4 comments:

Lucy said...

Amen! Love this.

Mark Collier said...

Thanks Becky, I can think of more than one friendship that I needed this exhortation for... "If I would engage the ugliness of the world, perhaps the hope and power of the Cross would be more critical to my existence." - That is deep thoughts right there!

Teresa said...

A profound difference indeed, and well-stated.

K said...

This post has stuck with me over the past week. I just wanted you to know that. I also sent a link of it to my sister Kym who is in Ethiopa for the summer. She is definitely seeing a lot to mourn for. Thanks for sharing your insights. LOVE them!

-Kristy