Last week I was listening to an interview of a comedian who is a self proclaimed atheist. The radio host was making reference to a part of his show that made some of the audience uncomfortable. The comedian answered that this was intentional as it stimulated thought and possibly discussion around the topic. The comedian was discussing the reaction of different members of society around death. This obviously got my attention, but not for the reason that most would have thought. It was his statement about Christians grieving after the loss of a loved one. He questioned that if Christians believe in God and heaven how is it possible that Christians grieve. He asked why is it that Christians aren’t celebrating?
Now I don’t profess to be a Christian, I do believe in a Christian God, I struggle with God and why, why,why and so on. This comedian had definitely stimulated thought. I started to think how it was plausible that he had arrived at such a conclusion? How was it possible that basing his views on such narrow perspectives he found it possible to live his life as an atheist? Could it be possible that he thought being a Christian stopped one from having feelings and emotions?
I am no bible expert, I am no God expert and I certainly can’t claim to know all the text of biblical scripture. However I do know that there is a verse John 11:35 that simply states “Jesus wept”. Now there are some different view points on why Jesus wept, some will say it was because Lazarus had died, others will say it was Jesus feeling the pain and hurt of Lazarus’ sister and then there are those who will make the point that he wept because of their lack of faith. I truly don’t know which one or combination of reasons might have been the reason for Jesus to weep, however what I do know is that Jesus wept. So if Jesus the Son of God was able to feel and demonstrate such emotions then why is it that us mere humans seemingly can’t show emotion in these times of loss.
On further reflection I believe that some “Christians” allow the very same thoughts to manifest in their thinking. They feel that they need to remain strong during the time of loss in order to show others that God is their strength. Same thought but just displayed differently. Both the atheist and the “Christian” have it so wrong.
So the balancing act is to be real and transparent with how grief is a challenge in your daily life and then to go to God in prayer to guide you through this deep dark valley.
If Jesus wept so can you. I have cried many times sometimes at the expected occasions and even worse at those ambush moments. I feel weak and fragile after each of these, especially the ambush moments, but knowing that I can go to the Father in prayer guides me to my next step. Sometimes the fragile feelings last a day or two so I don’t in anyway wish to portray that the prayer is like a magic switch. It merely is a guide to the next step.