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Friday, April 15, 2022

The Grief of a Father

 Good Friday... a day so filled with grief that the sun's light failed.  Christ hung on a cross meant for me...

"... and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun's light failed."
                                                                                                      Luke 23:44

The dark, all-consuming.  A grief that swallows hope.

And until I lost mom, that grief was always fleeting, transient, something to ponder on days like Good Friday.   

But walking out our monumental grief had a way of making the sorrow personal.  Painful.  Real.  Perhaps you know that kind of darkness, where the sun's light fails you.

I saw a recent post by  Rachel Lewis:  She knows grief.  She's walked through the despair and anger and darkness too. She captures the feelings of Good Friday from the depths of that darkness and the heart-rending bereavement felt by God the Father... a Father who understands our grief better than we ever knew.

"While it was the Son who died, it was the Father who looked on, no doubt wishing he could change places with his Son.

While the Son felt every physical pain, the Father felt the deepest pain of separation and loss—a feeling he, no doubt, had never experienced to that extent before. Especially when he turned away.

“What keeps me coming back is that God understands my pain.”

While the Son rose after three days, the Father took on the role of a bereaved parent and will forever know what it feels like to lose a child.

While Good Friday used to only point me to the Son, the beautiful sacrifice so we could know the Father—I now look at Good Friday as the day the Father made the even greater sacrifice—letting go of his one and only Son.

On this Good Friday, I remember not only the death of the Son but the bereavement of the Father. Not only did the Son share in our weakness, but the Father shared in our grief.

There is still so much I don’t understand about God or faith. When my friends suffer devastating loss, when senseless tragedies occur, my heart always questions why God allows such pain to exist in the world.

What keeps me coming back is that God understands my pain.

And on my darkest days—the days when I can’t see hope, or light, or goodness—I can go to him and tell him about all I’m feeling. And he knows. Because he’s been there too.

He sits in my brokenness with me, as only another bereaved parent can."

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