When I met them it was under the most dire circumstances. I had crawled out of two years that contained some of the most horrifying, painful and heart breaking moments of my life.
They sat with me in my pain in the kindest and most gracious way I could imagine.
Their home became a safe place for me. It became a place where life slowly was breathed back into my weary heart.
They know how to sit with those in pain. They do that for people.
They are wise and can handle tears. They know when to be silent and how to be present. They know how to pray and give scripture in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s a quick fix or a patch but feels gentle and life giving. They know how to entrust the Lord to fix someone and not try to do it themselves.
This past week my friend’s lives were turned upside down by the unexpected death of a child.
Nineteen year olds are not supposed to die.
It has been a devastating week.
We weren’t meant to die. It’s why death is always so heartbreaking. But there is something about the death of someone young that cuts in a different way.
I have wept this week with my friends. In the way they have loved me, I have wondered, how can I ever love that well in their pain? I don’t know. But I have learned so much by watching them love others well, I can only hope to emulate it a tiny bit back to them.
I have also been humbled by my friends.
There are pains I have experienced that have nearly made me lose hope. I am a Christian. I have hope. I should not live as one who has no hope. Yet, there have been points that my hope has nearly been gone I’ll be honest.
Yet watching my friends this week, they have had an unshakeable hope in the God who loves them, loves their son, knows their tears and can carry their griefs.
There is something remarkable about unshakeable hope in the middle of suffering.
I have spent time reading 1 Corinthians 15 quite a bit this month.
It’s about the resurrection of Jesus and the certain hope we have because of that. I had a nudge from the Lord a month and a half ago that my trust in the resurrection had wained. As I went to the memorial service a few days ago I was reminded by the way my friends’ son lived well, loved others and loved Jesus how the resurrection of Jesus gives the assurance of his resurrection and gives us all hope in the midst of pain and suffering.
His hope of eternal life is that because of the resurrection of Jesus, that he will rise. Our hope to find life, even after death is anchored securely in the resurrection of Jesus.
Our hope that “everything sad will come untrue” is anchored in the resurrection of Jesus even when the earth feels like it will give way.