Sunday, September 30, 2007

September 25, 2007

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

I’ve always thought I understood this verse. Many times as I have read over the Sermon on the Mount I have even skipped over this verse. It seems like a no-brainer. God will comfort someone who mourns. I have mourned the loss of important people in my life--my grandparents and niece especially--and I felt comforted through those experiences. But in retrospect most of the comfort I felt was through people, through others around me. It was the type of comfort that comes in meals cooked and dropped off, or through flowers and letters. It was the type of comfort that comes in words like “I’m sorry” or “I know what you are going through.” These comforts are necessary and a part of healing, but I’ve come to understand that these are not what Christ was talking about.

That day, when Jesus spoke those words, he understood and was speaking of a deep comfort that comes only from God. I now have experienced that comfort. Having experienced the loss of a child, the loss of so many expectations has caused me so much pain, pain I never knew I could experience. But there has been comfort. Jesus was right, I have mourned—deeply, openly, with rawness—and I have been comforted. Those peripheral comforts have been here, people have said their kind words, and dropped off their much appreciated dinners and flowers, but nothing has sufficed quite like the comfort I have felt deep in my soul. A comfort that says, “I love you. I’m here. I know.” And those words are what keep me looking to the future, trusting that God’s plan and God’s love will redeem this situation, this pain, this world.

No longer will I skip blessed are those who mourn and go right to blessed are the peacemakers (like a good Quaker kid is taught to do), but now I will stop, reflect, and thank God for the pain I’ve experienced and the comfort I have received.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

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