CCF: Good Grief
Last Sunday July 6, 2014 I am assigned to do the write-up by summarizing the service message at CCF, Singapore. How cool is that? I got to do one thing that I love to do - writing, not for me or for anyone but for the Creator of heaven and earth. I praise God for the opportunity to serve the Almighty God!
Pastor Caloy Pena introduced the message with a heartfelt eulogy of a wife captured in this video.
This line hit me, "In the end, it's these small things that you remember. The little imperfections that made them perfect for you."
The book 1 Samuel 31 to 2 Samuel 1 illustrates how the Israelite's fought against the Philistines. In this account, the Philistines killed Jonathan and his brothers while King Saul was badly wounded and chose to fell on his sword to die.
While this unfortunate story of losing people dear to us is something we do not want to hear especially on a Sunday service, it is an inevitable fact of life. These passages shows us the very heart of David on how he dealt with grieve.
After knowing Saul's death, David grieved grievously for Saul and Jonathan.
"David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan" --2 Samuel 1:17 (NIV)
David was so connected with his feelings and was in the moment to lament even if it's the death of his tormentor. Similarly how, when Jesus saw Mary and the rest of the Jews weeping for the death of Lazarus whom He loved, He was deeply moved and Jesus wept,
"Jesus wept" --John 11:35 (NIV)
the shortest verse in the Bible but a verse full of boundless meaning. Both David and Jesus poured out their emotions in solidarity with the pain of others. This is only possible as they are fully present and alive in the moment. For in order to live totally, we must also recognize death completely.
David also grieved honestly when he wholeheartedly acknowledged the fact that death comes with loss of glory pertaining to Israel defeated in battle and loss of intimacy with his beloved brother Jonathan.
Finally, David grieved purposefully. He don't just grieve for grieve's sake, in fact 70% of Psalms which was written by David are related to laments. We see that in the midst of his darkest moments, he chose to pour out his heart to God through songs. Instead of pushing away from God, he chose to anchor and deepen his trust to Him.
As we think of someone close to us whom we've lost, no matter how good or bad the relationship we have had with them, let's us learn to see the best in people. With God's grace may we learn to embrace the imperfections of others that made them perfect for me and you. To be able to show the barest of emotions that lament is not just an animal cry, it is empathizing with others, it is delighting in that relationship. To save the brightest for tomorrow, understanding that death is not the final thing in life. It is a pivot between an end of one thing so you can start something new.
Although we are all not immune in loosing someone, we can still choose to grieve in a way that honors God. A grieve rightly grieved releases freedom for you to do all God wants you to accomplish.