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What Can We Say?

Life is often filled with horrible scenes that stagger the mind. I watched closely as a mother prepared to bury her son. The room adjacent to where he lay was filled with people. Most of them were visiting, almost with a sense of gaiety. You’ve seen this picture before. People gather to give comfort, pay respect and lend their help. We’re all alike. Nobody knows what to say so you just stand there. You see people you haven’t seen in years, conversation breaks out and you find it easier to visit and converse with all those who attend because you don’t know what to say to those who are grieved.

In the state room, the air was different. It was somber. There was no laughter. There were few conversations. A bewildered aunt sits in almost silent tears. Uncles, cousins, close friends stand by… waiting… wanting to help… not knowing what to say or do. They just stand there.

At the end of the long room stands a casket. There is more than a body of someone who was loved. The finely decorated box is filled with memories. It is filled with dreams, hopes, words that were spoken in kindness and those that should have been. A state room is one of the most awesome places on earth. It speaks louder through its silence than any ten thousand words could say.

Along the wall, nearest the casket sits a lonely, heartbroken mother with eyes that have cried until they were dry and a countenance that yelled of its sorrow. Oh what the pain must be like to lose a son. I could say nothing that would make any difference. No one could.

As we moved to the chapel, emptiness surrounded the room. Everyone there wanted to help, but none knew how. The preachers tried their best. Perhaps there was comfort, but how can you ease the heart of a mother who just lost her son?

At the grave site the mother struggled to place one foot in front of the other as she slowly walked to her seat. Her eyes hardly left the casket. Oh the pain. Oh what she must have been thinking. Oh the emptiness. I can’t even begin to imagine the loss, the hurt of losing a son to a tragic death.

You can sympathize with this mother. You can almost, almost feel her hurt. We’ve seen it before. Some of you have experienced it. What sorrow. As I watched all of this I wondered how God must have felt as He watched His only Son die for the sins of a dreadful and mostly ungrateful world. Oh the sorrow that must have been in His heart. Oh the pain that He must have felt. Would His pain have been any less? Would His agony have been any easier to cope with?

For a mother who loses her son to a tragic death, there will always be pain. The pain will be in the memories, but will lessen in time. It’s over.

With God, however, the situation is different. The pain continues. Every time we reject Jesus, each time we walk opposed to Him or fail to confess Him, the pain intensifies. It is not over with God. He grieves when we hurt others. His Spirit within us grieves each time we are unkind to a brother or live oppressively to those who are without.

What do you say to a mother who loses her son? I don’t quite know. More importantly, what do you say to God our Father who willingly gave His Son when we’ve cause Him to grieve? Is “I’m sorry” good enough? Or should we try to bring Him joy by saying “I’m Sorry and Lord, I will follow Him.”

Remember, our actions speak louder than words.