Three days ago I learned my high school classmate, Dave, died suddenly, very unexpected. Yesterday in the midst of the news of the bombings in Boston, my cousin contacted our family that his wife’s brother, Jim, had died unexpectedly as well. He had been sick but there was no indication that death was close. In each of those cases, there was not a flood of postings about the people or event. But people were there. I know this sounds strange, but the grief was present, palpable, hovering over each Facebook community. You could feel it.
Sometimes there are no words.
A friend at church sent me an email this morning asking how she can explain something like the bombings in Boston to her sons. I told her I think we try not to explain it. We can’t. We can’t fit our grief and heartache in a box. There are some things we just don’t understand.
What we can do is talk to each other. Ask the questions. Let them hang in the air. Pray.
Our faith is not something we try to explain or understand. It is something we trust and believe and profess: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. We trust the promises of God that say he is always with us. That is the mystery of the resurrection that we live everyday – not only on Easter. Jesus is here with us. In our grief. In our heartache. In our questions.
In Morning Prayer at my church this morning we sang. We sang more hymns than usual. We sang hymns of lament. Hymns filled with questions and hurt and yes, even some hope. This hymn touched my heart – my heart that aches for Dave’s family and Jim’s family and the people in Boston.
In Deepest Night
In the deepest night, in darkest days,
when harps are hung, no songs we raise,
when silence must suffice as praise,
yet sounding in us quietly there is the song of God.
When friend was lost, when love deceived,
dear Jesus wept, God was bereaved;
so within us in our grief God grieves,
and round about us mournfully there are the tears of God.
When through the waters winds our paths,
around us pain, around us death;
deep calls to deep, a saving breath,
and found beside us faithfully there is the love of God.
When I have no words, these are the words I share with everyone I love today.