I had never experienced grief like that before. Sure, I’ve been sad, but this was different. This was a heart-wrenching grief that shook my core. It was a wail in the spirit at a great loss. It came in waves unexpected. You see, last December my father passed away, and while it was not totally unexpected – he was 91 – it was still a shock. I wept. And now, so many months later, the grief now turned to sadness still overtakes me when I am least expecting it.
The day of the memorial service was a cloudy day with a light sprinkling rain. As we left the church service and were heading to the graveside, some of the clouds parted slightly and the sun shone through for a few moments. Perhaps a heavenly salute, perhaps just a coincidence, but in either case I thought about the grief our Heavenly Father experienced when He saw His Son dead. It darkened the sky. It shook the earth. It convulsed the universe. I can understand a little of that now. And yes, even though He knew that Jesus would rise again, it doesn’t take away from the grief of the moment. I knew that even as I wept for my father, Dad was experiencing joy unspeakable. It didn’t help me at that moment. The grief is still real and very present.
Wouldn’t it be interesting on this Good Friday to pause for a moment and simply acknowledge the Father’s experience on this day, His grief? Perhaps we can just sit with Him and say, “I understand… a little,” and grieve together even while we look forward to resurrection. He did that for me.