Grieving With Hope *

Grieving With Hope

We stand here today…
in a dreadful place
on a dreadful occasion
because of a dreadful loss
We stand here today…
ravaged by grief
our hearts have been trampled
we are wounded and broken
we bleed and we weep
there will be no forgetting, there is no escape
We stand here today…
without the luxury of choice
sinking toward depression
wrestling with despair
brawling with anger
fighting our fears
We stand here today…
more intensely familiar
with death’s lingering stench
more intimately acquainted
with the grave’s vicious sting [1]
more keenly aware
of life’s grass-withering fragility 

its flower-fading brevity [2]
We stand here today…
struggling to reconcile
some of the things we believe
holding on tightly to those scarce certainties
we know to be true
asking questions never faced before
none more often than ‘Why?’
except for ‘How?’
in this world do we go on
We stand here today…
forever changed
never again the same
in some ways, bad
in all ways, eventually good
We stand here today…
beaten and battered
but not totally crushed
bewildered and confused
but not surrendering to our despair
and though there are questions aplenty
we have not been forsaken
and we are not destroyed [3] 
We stand here today…
having limped to this place
our hearts overwhelmed with sadness
over the profound loss of our precious Asher* 
our minds filled with wonder
at what might have been
our souls buoyed with a new-found longing
for that place we call home
We stand here today…
reminded anew
that our soul’s constant hunger
its unrelenting thirst
its persistent longings
its empty yearnings
will never be fully satisfied
‘til Christ’s promised return
We stand here today…
in a beautiful place
with all of Creation
as it raises both chorus and groan [4]
of praise and of ache
up to the heavens, to the Father above
for who He is, for what is to come
We stand here today…
in an expectant place
for from this very spot
our ‘Little Man’ will rise [5]
when Jesus comes calling
oh what a beautiful thought
Maranatha, come Lord Jesus, come even now [6]
We stand here today…
bolstered by grace
our hearts have been strengthened
in mysterious ways
We stand here today…
grieving with hope
for we are not among those

who have nothing to look forward to [7] 
(Greg Sponberg wrote this for his son's Luke, for his committal service last Thursday and read it at his graveside just before they laid him to rest. I thought it spoke such powerful truth and echoed what our hearts felt as we buried our son, which was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. So I inserted Asher's name where Luke's is. I miss their son for them as well but praise God for them as they have taught me how to hope in the face of this trial. And rejoice that our sons are redeemed and complete and are worshipping in a way that I long to experience.)  

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