Amplified by a corded mic I prayed, “Your word says ‘sorrow may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.’ We are in a season of sorrow.”
There was little confidence in my voice as I eventually surrendered to tears. His family and friends were gathered in a misshapen circle in front of the stage where I stood. Hearing the cries of his parents made gaining composure hardly possible. He was a young man with a gentle heart and a genuine spirit. He was a young man who chose to exercise his mortality rather than succumb to age.
I had hoped to pray a prayer of eloquence, grace, and healing. Instead it felt like a question. What lies did he believe in his last days?
Loved ones were left with an encumbered guilt and old friends didn't know whether to find comfort in their reunion or regret. “If I would have known I could have helped.” “I can’t remember the last thing I said to him.” “When he asked how to be happy, I wish I would have given him an answer.” Each of us recycled the same generic responses when it was our turn to listen, and when we confessed our own sadness words weren't sufficient. We ached for an explanation that would bring light to the night fallen grief.
Rest in peace. Though he knew the Lord and is now forever with Him, was it peace he was seeking or an escape from a haunting unhappiness? Rest in peace. Friends and family must rest in the sovereignty of God while wrestling with the anger they may feel toward the Sovereign One. Rest in peace. A sorrowful mourning will be followed by a morning of joy and remembrance.
“But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” -C.S. Lewis