Sunday, 24 January 2016

Acquainted With Grief

These are some words that may look like a poem, but they're not really literary enough for that- so let's say they are more like a series of non-prose thoughts on sadness, reflecting on the following four things:

1) Jesus has suffered as we suffer.
2) God worked for good in the suffering of Jesus.
3) We are in Christ- so God will work for good in our suffering too.
4) Jesus has walked the path of our suffering, so that we can walk the path of his glory.

Though this isn't everything when we're walking through the valley, it's something. And with hope, every little helps. Once again, all words about suffering can seem trite and shallow, but Jesus, who they hopefully point to, is neither of these things.

He is familiar with grief.
That sledgehammer slam of loss, of shock-
He's stood beneath its blow.
He knows what it is to mourn,
to feel the sting of death,
to weep-
face to face with its concrete full-stop blockading hope for future goodness.
He is acquainted with the stench of decay,
He's cried tears of desperation.

He is familiar with pain.
With wounds, with aches, with the most destructive of disease-
He's buckled, he's been brought low.
He knows what it is to be weak,
to bare sorrows and to stumble;
to bleed
in a broken flesh, gaining scars that time won't heal.
He is acquainted with the stripes and the shame,
He's pled for another way.

He is familiar with rejection,
With standing shelterless in the storm.
He's been exposed; alone.
He's seen friendship without faithfulness,
family without home:
faces he loved turning away, one by one by One.
He is acquainted with nights of longing,
He's known dark and silent skies.

He is familiar with waiting,
bearing the burden of precious promises,
he's known their fulfillment seeming slow.
He's had no hope but God,
no life but in resurrection.
He's relied upon on a Love stronger than death,
and been vindicated by a greater Power than the grave.
He has been led through the darkest valley,
and brought to a victory feast.
He's acquainted with glory,
He's known darkness turned to light-
He's ascended, with great power-
and he leads captives in his train.

Inspired by:
Psalm 22 and 23 , Isaiah 53 , Job 16:7-14 , John 11:35 , Hebrews 4:15, Mark 15:27, 15:34, 46 , Ephesians 4:8 , 1 Corinthians 15:49 , Psalm 44:22, Song of Songs 8:6 , Romans 6:5, Romans 8 and  all those other ones.

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