There are days I get really frustrated with the shortness of life and the permanent nature of the loss that leaves in our lives.
I got word this week of two deaths that deeply affect people I know. One is local, as Frank MacDonald died in a motorcycle crash; the other was a dear friend in Texas that had a way too quick ending with cancer.
I know that many others have lost loved ones and ache deeply over their losses. I saw so many Father’s Day memories put up on Facebook. I noted that there were large numbers of ‘I miss you forever’ things said from children about their dads. I was one that was able to call my dad to say ‘I love you Dad’ but each day brings the ability to say so closer to the end.
I suspect I could come up with some sweet platitudes and thoughts of comfort that for those of us hurting are just too soon to share and think about. The pain is too fresh and too real. While I believe every word I speak at funerals in regard to love of God and the hope of resurrection and while I intend them to comfort, I also know it is too soon and they often waft into the air past hurting hearts. This is why I usually write a complete manuscript to pass on to the family for them to consider later once the impact of the immediate pain has stilled somewhat.
But the pain of losing a loved one at any point of life is one that makes me echo the words of Ecclesiastes 1 as Solomon says; ““Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” What profit has a man from all his labor In Which he toils under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose.
The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit. All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again. All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing.”
That sense of senselessness in the shortness of life even gets me at times. The frustration of doing and not seeing a result that I want just gets under my skin and more so at times like this.
So, to those suffering loss, my prayers go up for you. For those in pain may God’s peace come to your life. May we, despite the words of Ecclesiastes, find a purpose to move us day by day to find joy in our sorrow, peace in our storms.