“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
“If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.”
“Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”
“If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
“The most important one is, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
There is no earthly thing that can take the pain away of your child’s death.
I have read story after story of many, specifically mothers, who need this validation. Because for the most part, they are not hearing it from anyone else.
In fact, they feel distanced from people who were once a part of their lives. And it is not the mothers who are creating the distance.
It’s not that mothers want someone to fuss over them. It’s that for some unknown reason, if their child’s death wasn’t enough to grieve about, friends, family, and church family distance themselves.
It’s almost as if they are too close, they will catch something.
The reality of death? The reality of knowing their child could die, too?
And so a second layer of grief is added to the first layer.
Grieving a child’s death is different than any other grieving. Every time a well-meaning person says, “at least you have good memories”, “death is death” (no, suicide is different), or any other statement to bring comfort, it is literally like pouring salt in a wound.
I think the hardest thing is for mothers who are part of a church family. I’ve read their stories. How is it that the very people who should know what to say … don’t know what to say? Or say the wrong things?
And then, instead of acknowledging this ineptness, the grieving mother is told “well, people don’t know what to say or do”.
You mean those who profess to know God, filled with the Holy Spirit, going out into all the world to preach the gospel – some believing in the mandate to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils – don’t know what to say to a heartbroken mother? Distance themselves? And God forbid, talk about her behind her back?
She’s not the same.
I often think about Jesus’ words to us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
Perhaps the most important thing we should be doing in our churches today is that.
We do so many other things that we deem as our love for God and ignore what might take more of a commitment. More compassion. More understanding. More patience.
This has to be on God’s heart. Just read the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation.
Many are shipwrecked in their faith because of this further grief.
It’s not God’s fault. I know, the church represents God. But it is not yet perfect.
So we look to God for all that he promises for broken hearts.
We trust he is bigger than us and develop that relationship with him.
I promise, he will help you.
There is no earthly thing that can take away the pain of your child’s death.