Thoughts from a Friend

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Just A Thought

I received this email from a friend not long ago. I thought it was worth passing along as something to think about.

My daddy taught me that men do not cry. Even after getting the belt, if we cried we got more, my brother and I.  I remember him saying that a man only cries if his heart hurts, not his body. I learned what he was training me for, as we experienced the passing of loved ones, my papaw, my grandma (his mother). I never saw him cry, which is hard to pull off when your mother dies. He could not, because his family needed him, through those funerals, there was always someone who needed his shoulder, and someone who needed mine, and I could do that because he taught me.

Friday morning I saw the news, I shut my office door and fell to my knees and cried. Saturday, I held my 3-year-old daughter as she took her afternoon nap and her head was wet with my tears. I have been worried that I had to play Christmas songs for church which is so hard when your heart is so heavy. What can men do against such reckless evil, such suffering and sorrow.

I am only beginning to understand this theology, but I believe I know what to do. It may be best related to an old story I heard a long time ago. A man and his wife, lived up on the side of the mountain, cobbled a living as best they could. When they were older they finally had a child, a little girl. She was turning 7 when he was turning 60, and then she died. The man was the quiet type, most that came to the funeral had never even heard him speak. One man in particular, came with his family, his two little girls and his wife. They lived in town and his thoughts were with his business, his house, his life. He felt bad for the couple but he had things to worry about too. At the funeral, the preacher had spoken, the choir had sung, as the old man stands up, with his wife’s head still on his shoulder weeping. He sang praise to God almighty, Glory to all his works, praise to God. The young man was a bit stunned, he took notice, he looked around, he saw so as old graveyard, with many little graves, everyone with a lamb on top. He said he began to understand what was lost from this older generation, that strength, that courage that even when the world was at its worst, to raise your face to the Lord and praise Him.

Its does not make sense to the machinery of this world, it comes from knowledge of a greater world. In sorrow we come face to face with the distance between us and God, the necessary distance of mortality, of that bitter-sweet breath of life. As hard as it is, as unreasonable as it seems, we have to muster what strength we can and Praise God so much more in hard times, in the worst of times. It terrifies me what that may come to mean in my life, and I know that I do not have the strength to handle what is to come, but for right now, I know what it is that I need to be doing. What I need to be doing is praising God, the act of worship is my answer.

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