Thursday, February 2, 2017

Comforting the Dead

The beggar Lazarus had a difficult life. As he lay outside the gate of the rich man's house, dogs would come up and lick his sores. He had no health care. He had no power. But he had faith.

After death, he lay in the arms of Father Abraham. Why? To be comforted. Abraham himself took this ragged beggar into his arms, to comfort him. Apparently reaching heaven does not instantly erase all past sorrows. It's a process.

We also see people in heaven who are discontent, or impatient. The martyrs call out, "How long until we are avenged?". Sounds a little different than our average Sunday School images of heaven.

But this comforting of Lazarus caught my eye. The other night my 10-month old daughter woke up and began crying. I hurried to her and picked her up, and held her. Her tears didn't stop immediately. It took a little time. I had to gently murmur to her, rocking her, holding her close.

After the trauma of this life, apparently at least some of us get the same treatment. We don't forget. There is nowhere in the BIble that says we do.  But we are comforted. We are pulled from the coffin and held in much older arms, gently murmured to, understood, loved.  I wonder how long it takes to calm down and find healing?  If the Lord's presence is there, the healing process goes quickly, I'm sure, but some wounds take time.

And then one day, all this current order of things will pass away. Tears and sorrow and loss will be from a previous age, for all things will be made new. And in the ages to come he will continue to surprise us with his mercy and grace.

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