It has been a rough week in my life. One might assume the passing of my 100-year-old (plus one day) dad would not be an painful event. But it is. It came as an unwelcomed surprise since we didn’t get to celebrate him as a family. As waves of emotions and memories have flooded my soul, I was surprised at what passages from Scripture provided comfort. Perhaps I am a bit odd, I admit it.  But I didn’t focus on the texts brimming with hope of heaven. Not this week. The texts that came to mind were of a very different tone and vibe.

As I wept, I remembered that our Savior was a man whose own life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering.  He was acquainted with grief, as one translation puts it. He knew sadness. And then in the New Testament, as he faced the death of Lazarus, Jesus wept.  Well, if Jesus could weep, I can weep.  And Jesus even knew what he was about to do – raise Lazarus from the dead! But in that moment He understood the pain of loss and death, and he could see it on the faces of Martha and Mary – and those around them.

And even though Jesus knew that Lazarus would soon be alive again (after four days), He wept.  Maybe it is ok if I weep. Jesus understands my tears. My Savior has compassion for me. He gets me.

And so do some people who are also familiar with loss.  Pastor Alex from Uganda wrote this to me:  Death is never a kind visitor, and the experience it leaves us with is never pleasant. But thanks be to our God who equips us for such moments like this, and for the hope has given us through the gracious gift of salvation. I am also blessed to know that you are surrounded by wonderful people who are holding your hands up during this time; our benefits of being in Christ on this side of heaven.  We love you and are praying for you all. 

Someone else wrote: When my father died at 88 in 2008, I was 59.  How could I feel such loss?  I was a grown woman. I couldn’t “just get past it.” …I hope that you are giving yourself the space and time you need to grieve this loss.  Allow yourself to miss your father. Then, let the tears turn to smiles as you remember all of those special times together and look forward to that grand reunion.

Just what I need to hear. I am comforted by a Savior who understands tears, and shed some Himself. Of course, I am comforted by the rich promises of God. But I still can miss my dad. It is ok.  You can miss your loved ones too. Jesus wept. And so do we. And so must we.