And we’re done.
The inadequacy I felt as I faced the task of writing this series has been – well, not replaced exactly, but joined by a sense of tear-springing surprise. “Who am I?” was the question hanging over my heart as I first put my fingers to the keys. What grief have I known that could qualify me to talk about mourning? The losses of my own life marched before my eyes and seemed of little merit. Can one be qualified to write on this theme?
But it didn’t matter.
This series wasn’t about how large my own sorrows have been, anyway; or about how deep yours, or how overwhelming somebody else’s. This series was about the God who came near, stayed near, and is near still in each of our lives. It’s about a Jesus whose soul swelled with compassion and moved within him to say: “you’re blessed when you mourn because…I am with you.”
And now here I am sitting beneath the moon, tracing movements of stars through quiet watches of night, thinking of a Jesus alone on a hillside, consumed with grief. Suddenly the heavens seem to sing to me – a low mourn, a chanting wail, a lament.
“He is a Man of Sorrows, Acquainted with Grief.”
Ah. Ah, yes.
This is the complete spectrum; to this we come full circle. From this we can go forth.
He is why I can write about this. He is why you can take it to heart.
“Blessed are those who mourn,” says the Beatitude, and it offers a straight shot. There’s something narrow about it, something reminiscent of “enter through the narrow gate, walk the straight way, for broad is the road that leads to destruction, narrow the way that leads to Me (Life).”
He hasn’t left you alone.
Look, I’ll show you before I close out:
Once upon a time Jesus sat around a table of mourners, and said:
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
I will pray (to) the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
Let me tell you a secret.
He’s the Paraclete.
Parakletos in Greek.
His name comes from the phrase shall be comforted: paraklethesontai. Paraklethesontai, you remember, comes from the roots of parakaleo.
And Parakaleo means: invited and called by name to come into the presence of; to come alongside, to be with.
The Holy Spirit’s name means:
The One Called To Be Alongside.
“The Spirit Called To Be Alongside You will dwell with you forever; you know him; for he dwells with you. He is The Comforter, and he shall be in you.”
So said Jesus.
You are not alone.
This is the final post in the series Survivor Songs: joy comes in the mourning. The beginning and full list of posts can be found here. THANK YOU for reading along! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so that I can give you the entire series in eBook form as soon as I have it completed.