Have you ever gotten a phone call that you just don’t know what to do with? No clue how to process. What to say? What to write? If it’s even OK to try and express anything at all?
Two short days ago, a colleague, co-laborer, and dear personal friend lost his life. As the new day was dawning, a woman walked into his church, pulled out a gun, and stole him away. From his wife and two year old daughter. From the community of Christ-followers that he heroically led. From all of us. He was 29 years old.
Heart attack and died.
Cancer and died.
Car accident and died.
Death is always tragic, but at least my brain can process those scenarios.
I don’t have a place for this one. It doesn’t fit. Doesn’t compute. I just don’t get it. And that insatiable need to explain can easily turn tragedy into triteness. These are the moments that birth cheap cliches.
Human beings are meaning machines. We need purpose. To know “why?” But I find, in times like these, my drive to understand is often a self-protection mechanism to dodge the pain.
On days like these, perhaps the most God-honoring response is just to grieve. Reflect. Remember. Weep. Feel it all. Fully.
Death will always feel foreign to us. Offensive. It wasn’t a part of God’s original design–a disastrous byproduct of man’s sin and rebellion. When we grieve, we acknowledge the imperfection of our current struggle and longing for the day when God will finally complete the restoration of His Creation. With that focus, grief itself can almost become an expression of worship.
Jaman my friend, I miss you already. Your wisdom. Your sense of humor. Your way of cutting through the bull and forcing the us to see the point. Knowing you changed me, and for that I am grateful.
Today we grieve. Not without sadness, but not without hope.
See you again buddy. But not soon enough.