Friday, June 3, 2011

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Wednesday night Bible study is the book of Matthew, and this week we looked at chapter 5. The Beatitudes. The new commandments -- the new Ten, given on a mountain, by our better priest. He tells us to be poor in spirit, and meek, and merciful. We should hunger and thirst for righteousness, and have pure hearts, and make peace, and endure persecution if need be.

And we should mourn.

That phrase confused me, in this context. I don't think of mourning as a good thing, a behavior I should pursue. Mourning means death, and death is an enemy.

But this mourning is, I think, different. It's a mourning over spiritual death, a lamenting for sin in this world. Christians should be in a constant state of lamentation because the world around us is dead. We are surrounded by walking dead -- people on their paths to hell.

I have been mourning lately. I have a precious friend who is sick, and who won't get better. And my heart is broken, just broken in two. I have cried, and prayed, and cried some more. I worry about her and think about her. I worry some more. I curse illness and fallenness, and wish for a better world for her and me. But that better world is only gotten to by way of death.  So I mourn.

I don't feel blessed; I feel hurting. Sin is a horrible thing, in its effects. We are all broken, right down into our DNA. Eventually my body will do me in with diabetes or cancer or heart disease. We know this about ourselves, but we push the thought away. Death is too horrible. It cuts us away from each other. Mentally, we shove it away into the later years of our lives, and pretend that we are living. Actually, we are all dying. It's only when we see the young dying, that we are crushed and dismayed. Writer Tony Woodlief talks about it here. Writer Laura Boggess tells here about her disturbing visit with a sick, dying friend.  There is comfort, but there is much grief.

I apologize for being morbid, but my heart is aching inside, and I am always on the verge of tears. What can be done, in this world of broken things? Pray, and pray more, for healing and help and guidance. And hope for heaven. I don't know what else to do.


  1. Ihave been mourning too, and trying to resist it, I think. My mother died in March, but because she had been "gone" from Alzheimer's for so many years, I think I thought I should be over it. I mean, she hasn't been able to be a part of my life for 10 years, so what is really different? And I think I tried to let it be "okay" that she didn't know me anymore, because it wasn't her fault. I realize I was pushing away the emotion. so what I think is this - we go into nature, with the trees and birds and sun and wind, and we yell and we scream and we cry. We let ourselves express honestly our feelings, which means letting it be okay to be mad and to say it's unfair, and to be sad. I think it's only by letting it be okay to mourn that we begin to feel better - and maybe that is what the passage means. Go ahead and mourn.

  2. Melissa - I'm so sorry for your loss. Mourning and crying hit us at the strangest times. Some people, I think, still mourn a loved one many years later. Thank you.


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