Today I have a funeral. She was dear to me. My best friend from high school is burying his mom tomorrow. I cannot be there. I was asked last night to visit a man dying of cancer this Thursday. I am a priest so I have a role to play in such challenging circumstances. At some level our faith is "you are going to a better place." The implication sometimes is "if you have real faith death is no big deal." Yet I find I often cry at funerals (which makes it tricky when you are preaching) and I am often sad.
Jesus wept before the tomb of Lazarus. There are different theories as to why. My guess is it just made Him sad. There is something sad about loss and pain. Yesterday I shared some of the sadness of being with friends whom I have not seen in many years. There is loss there. These are men with whom I shared a deep bond. We had a connection at a core level. Somehow a decade passed and we have done little more than e-mail or phone on occassion. It made me aware of what I had lost.
I believe this desire for life and friendship and companionship are placed in us by God. The big hole in each of us will be totally filled some day. Every tear will be wiped away. We will gather to worship together. Better days are coming. In the mean time we need to be brave and faithful