|"He hideth my soul|
in the depths of His love
covers me there with His hand..."
Hymn "He Hideth My Soul"
by Fanny Crosby
It is Easter weekend in the United States this week. This picture poignantly portrays to me the loneliness of so many who have lost a loved one. When facing a holiday alone, it can feel like someone ripped open our wounds all over again and poured a bucket of vinegar all over them. There is a stinging, throbbing pain that surfaces when we least expect it. It can feel like the world stopped spinning on its axis and nobody but us has noticed. Grief can be very, very lonely. People may avoid us, not knowing what to say. If the loss is very new, we may still be in shock. If the loss involved a spouse, we haven't even begun to figure out how we can make it without him or her. We may have been married for many years and now, suddenly, we find ourselves single again. How do I do that single thing after all these years? I don't want it. I didn't sign up for this...
Even after many years of living without a loved one, holidays spent with them, either good or bad, bring a rush of emotions that come with remembering the past. We can feel lost, overwhelmed, unbearably lonely, and just want to run away. I have been there. I know it is extremely painful and not something we can talk to everybody about. In fact, it can seem like people avoid us just wanting us to "get over it, already..." People are poor substitutes for God...
People may push us away, ignore us, pretend they don't see us. They may reject us, avoid us, pressure us, be irritated with us, even sometimes laugh at us, partly because they can't handle the depth of our grief, or because they simply don't understand. At times like this, it is so important to know what God has to say to us about who we are in His eyes, how much He cares for us, that He deeply, deeply understands our suffering and our loneliness. He is a "man of sorrow, acquainted with our grief." Isaiah 53:3
This Easter, the world may seem to be dancing all around us, but, take stock of what is really going on in the world. It is swinging wildly out of control all around us. Do not be deceived by what appears to be a perpetual party. We weren't made for that. Especially at Easter, as we remember the unimaginable suffering and death of Jesus, we must chose to remember, in our own grief, that He is with us - He suffered and died an excruciating death to walk with us through it all. The Resurrection of Jesus tells all of us who are wounded, grief struck and lonely that there is Hope. That He loves us more than we can possibly imagine. He is holding on to you and me when we are overcome with grief and loneliness. He is hiding you "in the depths of His love..." And the same hands that were pierced for us are covering us, protecting us, loving us, holding onto us. He hasn't let go just because we're angry or depressed or cursing the world for our loss. He is holding on to us and I don't believe He will ever let go. You are more precious than diamonds, more beautiful than velvet, more treasured than gold.
You are loved...