“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering of the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
C.S. Lewis was right, grieving does feel a lot like being afraid. This morning I went on a date with Crystal to Starbucks (we had a gift card) and as I sat there listening to the conversations around me I realized that we never really know where people are at. We may think we have a good indication of what people are thinking and how they are feeling but we never really know. Only the Spirit of God knows. As I sat there I wanted everyone to know that I was grieving and yet I wanted to no one to know. What a strange sensation. As I see people around now I almost instinctively begin praying for them; who knows, they may be grieving too.
I have been reading some different books on grieving, not so much for what the books have to say, but simply because I find comfort in reading. It seems that there are two main approaches to receiving suffering (if that’s what this is), at least from a Christian perspective. The first is that God has orchestrated all things and in order to create a beautiful symphony God needs chords and notes of dissonance. By themselves they sound horrible, but as a whole the song is beautiful. The other option is that while God does not orchestrate these events God is present in the midst of them and that in the end God will make all things right. I find comfort in the latter. My hope is that in the end – when Jesus returns to rescue creation – God will make all things right. I don’t pretend to know what that means, for me, for you or for my brother, but it sounds beautiful and so I embrace it.