Having been in the funeral business for nearly 15 years, I am always honored to serve the family, and yet saddened at the same time. This coming Saturday I have been asked to officiate a funeral service for a dear friend’s mother who passed away recently. I’ve totally lost count of how many services I’ve assisted, officiated, arranged, or participated in some way to serve a family who have lost someone dear to them.
I came into this industry following about 25 years in full-time ministry, and so even after nearly 40 years now of serving those who’ve lost a loved one, I’m still moved every time I walk into a chapel, cemetery or church to serve. It’s just nice to know I’m not alone with these emotions…
The story is told of the illness and impending death of Lazarus in the Gospels. Lazarus and his family were some of the closest friends of Jesus, and yet when Jesus was informed of Lazarus being ill and close to death, he didn’t react like many of us. Instead, He and His followers lingered a few more days before going up to the home of Lazarus and the family.
The most amazing thing happened once Jesus did arrive. After greeting the family and comforting those mourning Lazarus’ passing, Jesus asked to be taken to the tomb where he had been placed. Upon arrival at the tomb and seeing the broken hearts and spirits of those who loved Lazarus so much, the Bible tells us that, “Jesus wept.”
The One who knew what was about to happen days before arriving… who knew upon his arrival there was a better than good chance he would raise Lazarus from the dead… who knew there would be one huge celebration after Lazarus came forth… knowing all this He still wept.
So, if the One who knew all of this, and upon arriving at graveside would be touched in His heart and weep; if He can still be moved, then so can we! It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to mourn. It’s ok to miss someone.
Life will get a bit easier with a lot of time… but for right now, it’s ok.