Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When People Hurt: Get Real Don't Get Lost

Our community has suffered loss these last weeks of May. Unexpected death. Young death. And there's been confusion. Grief. Guilt. Gut-wrenching sobs in the night. It's not just in Iowa. It's happening in Oklahoma. In Berlin, Germany. Balashikha, Russia. Fortaleza, Brazil. What's a person to do? A simple, single person?

One mother shared this blog (click here to read) in response and I found it refreshing, convicting, thought-provoking. In her words, "Please don't let me be this mom..."

There's an element of authenticity that is missing in our pews, Sunday school classes, pulpits and homes, the rawness of Jesus escapes our reading of the gospels and fingering of WWJD bracelets. We climb into our dappy-zone bubbles and look out at the world instead of living with our friends, neighbors and coworkers the way Jesus did--does. What would Jesus do?

May we suffer alongside the hurting, feeling their pain, indulging the loss, and sharing the hope of Christ in and through our weakness. Because He's just as real as this sin-cursed world. He's deeper, greater, higher than the despair; He knows the pain and was perfected by suffering. Suffering is not wrong or sinful or shameful. As we come alongside those we love we will be reminded of moments of our own despair, weakness and failure, struggling and wrestling against painful thoughts and emotions; embracing authenticity in place of hypocrisy. That's what Jesus would do. It's what He did. Jesus got real. By His grace, so will we.

"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."(Hebrews 2:14-18, ESV)

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