Coffee Talk: Hope in the Mourning

Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flows over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Cor. 1:3-5 (NIV)

I know grief. I understand the cut that splits the heart when we love and lose somebody. In the past 16 years, I have lost eleven close relatives. With the exception of two years, I have attended a family funeral every year from 2006 through 2012. In 2006, my family had two significant losses. A few weeks ago was the first in a very long time that I can recall being with my mother’s relatives and not having a cloud of death upon us.

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Wilderness: What Are the Things You Need to Grieve?

Death is a word I am all too familiar with. I hate it for all the times it has visited my door and changed my world. In the past 16 years of my 33 years of living, I have lost eleven close relatives. That includes my mother and first born son whom I carried around inside of me for five months.

As a result of these devastating personal experiences, and observing the grief of others, I have come to the conclusion that the church generally (at least in practice) has a poor theology of grief. When mom died, I gave the good Sunday school answer (not because it was what I was supposed to say, but because I believed it). I rejoiced that she was now in Heaven basking in God’s glory with no more pain and suffering. Somehow the attitude of Christians and people around me was, “Everything will be okay.” After suffering a recent loss of her own, Redbud, Trillia Newbell, honestly acknowledged that “Death is not okay.” Continue reading “Wilderness: What Are the Things You Need to Grieve?”

Wilderness: Whitney Houston, Grief and Death

We know now that death and danger is a very present reality in the wilderness. The wilderness is also a place of grief, mourning, and letting go. As I entered the wilderness, I was grieving the lost of a dear loved one. I shared my understanding that as Christians, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. Yet, the reality of death is not always pleasant.

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