What does it mean to mourn?
The word mourn in Greek can mean to lament, feel guilt, bewail, and grieve (both the feeling of grief and the act of grief). Throughout Scripture it is connected with weeping, wailing, repenting and loss.
To mourn is derived from the Greek word pentheo which Strongs tells me bears the following definition:
properly, grieve over a death
figuaratively, grieve over a personal hope (relationship) that dies (i.e. comes to a divine closure; ends)
also, “mourn over death” refers to MANIFESTED grief, a grief so severe that it takes possession of a person and cannot be hid.
What do you mourn?
We all have things for which we mourn, some large, some small. Life doles out little and big deaths every day. And yet there is something in our culture (or simply in our humanity) that prevents us from making space for mourning as a means to comfort. We are often tempted to one of two extremes in our reactions to the losses in our lives:
We refuse the gift of comfort by believing our own wounds as larger than life, wallowing in them indefinitely with no hope for healing.
We refuse the gift of mourning by comparing our wounds to the wounds of others, minimizing them into something seductively insignificant.
But the true invitation of Jesus is this: mourn the loss, the wound, the pain; mourn in a true way, mourn and be comforted.
Blessed, he says, is the one who mourns. Not the one who is angry and holds on to his pain forever, not the one who is afraid and builds a wall to keep her heart from vulnerability or feeling, not the one who pretends it’s all right when it’s not. But blessed is the one who mourns when there is a thing to mourn, for he, she, will be comforted.
Tomorrow’s post will feature the artwork of my friend Ramone Romero, a moving picture of Jesus’ comfort. On Sunday Katie from Prime Periwinkle will show what all-out mourning looks like in her own life. And next week? Next week we’ll plunge headfirst into the audacious invitation of God: “be brave and courageous, see what I see when I look into your life.” Enough dancing around the things we wish would disappear – let’s learn to truly face them and say YES to the comfort of God.
Bringing this all back around, let me ask you:
What do you mourn? What have you mourned, what do you need to mourn right now?
Have an awesome weekend! – and if you want to be utterly
distracted soul-fed, check out the list of topics over at the main hub of the 31 Day Challenge – there are writers on nearly every subject under the sun. 🙂
This post is part of Survivor Songs, a 31-Day series. A full list of posts is found here.